Cytomegalovirus (CMV)

Consistent testing for improved patient care

A widespread virus


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common virus found in people of all ages, with an estimated global seroprevalence of 83% in the general population.1People who have a CMV infection may not develop symptoms at all.


Weakened immune systems are more susceptible


While the virus generally does not cause problems for those with healthy, functioning immune systems, it can have serious consequences for immunocompromised people as transplant patients, or those possessing an immature immune system like the unborn babies, for which it can be debilitating, and even deadly.

Some 20%-60% of solid organ transplant recipients develop a symptomatic CMV infection, typically during the first few months after transplantation.2 Patients can be infected through the donor organ, or the virus can be reactivated if previously present, or acquire a new infection during the transplant process.

Once a pregnant woman acquires CMV, there is a 1 in 3 chance she will pass it to her unborn child. It has been estimated that CMV affects approximately 1% of all live births.3


CMV assays clinicians can rely on


CMV infection is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in patients following transplantation, but can be detected quickly and treated using antiviral drugs. When it comes to successfully managing the infection and helping transplant patients enjoy long, healthy lives, consistency in test results plays a vital role.

Congenital CMV infection is the first non-genetic cause of sensorineural hearing loss and an important cause of neurodevelopmental disabilities in children. With the implementation of effective interventions to prevent maternal infection, and screening programs to timely identify an infection, the best therapeutic strategy can be promptly started for an overall improved pregnancy outcome.

Roche is committed to helping deter the spread and reactivation of the CMV and provides automated, WHO-standardized assays to detect and monitor the progression of CMV infections, as well as to minimize risks with comprehensive and reliable pre- and post-transplant testing. It is crucial that laboratory directors and healthcare providers use a testing solution that delivers results that are clinically validated and aligned across institutions to inform effective and successful CMV management. Moreover the burden of congenital CMV can be reduced with high-throughput and fully automated testing solutions supporting clinicians to reliably identify the cases that require attention.


  1. Zuhair M, et al. Estimation of the worldwide seroprevalence of cytomegalovirus: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Rev Med Virol. 2019 May;29(3):e2034.
  2. Emovon OE, Baillie GM, Rajagopalan PR, Chavin, KD. Infections after kidney transplantation. CME Coverage, based on Renal Week 2002: American Society of Nephrology 35th Annual Meeting. Accessed September 2023.
  3. Carlson A, et al. Cytomegalovirus infection in pregnancy: should all women be screened? Rev Obstet Gynecol. 2010 Fall;3(4):172-9.