Human cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the most common cause of congenital viral infection in the developed world. Approximately 40,000 congenitally infected infants are born in the US each year. Congenital CMV infection is responsible for a wide range of neurodevelopmental disabilities and is the most common infectious cause of hearing loss in children. The significant public health impact of congenital CMV has led the Institute of Medicine to rank development of a CMV vaccine as a top priority. Vaccine development has been ongoing; however, there is no licensed CMV vaccine currently available. Before vaccines can be optimized, a better understanding of how CMV infects the host is required. Recently, it has been demonstrated that CMV enters epithelial and endothelial cells by different pathways than those used for entry into fibroblasts, and that a recently described complex of CMV proteins, the gH/gL/UL128/130/131 complex, is essential for this process to occur. This discovery has allowed identification of a novel, heretofore unexplored, potential CMV vaccine targets, and provides the basis for the patent, 'Cytomegalovirus Vaccines and Methods of Production WO2009049138.' In this patent evaluation, the basis for this patent is reviewed. The potential application of this discovery for future CMV vaccine design is discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author states no conflict of interest and has received no payment in preparation of this manuscript. Supported by NIH HD044864 and HD038416.
- Congenital cytomegalovirus
- Cytomegalovirus epithelial and endothelial cell entry
- Cytomegalovirus vaccines
- UL128 131