Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a virus in the herpes family. Other types of herpes viruses include chickenpox and mononucleosis (mono) . CMV infections are very common. In the United States, over half of adults have been exposed to CMV at some point in their lives, often during childhood or early adulthood. After initial infection, the virus remains in the body for the rest of your life. Most of the time, the virus stays dormant (inactive). However, it can become active again (reactivated) in certain situations such as stress or an immune system problem.
In healthy people, CMV infections usually cause mild, flu-like illnesses or no symptoms at all. Most people with CMV don't even know they have it. But CMV can be dangerous to people with weakened immune systems due to conditions such as HIV or cancer . It can also cause significant health problems in infants. A pregnant woman with an active CMV infection can pass the virus to her unborn baby. CMV can cause deafness , vision problems , intellectual disabilities, and other serious disorders in babies who are infected before birth .
CMV tests check for signs of the virus in the blood, sputum, or other body fluids. CMV testing can help those at risk for complications get the treatment they need. While there is no cure for CMV, antiviral medicines and other treatments may reduce symptoms and improve outcomes.
Other names: CMV IgG and IgM, cytomegalovirus antibody