Cytomegalovirus (“CMV”), a member of the herpesvirus family, is extremely common worldwide. In the U.S., nearly 60% of individuals over the age of six are infected with CMV. CMV is transmitted through direct contact with infectious body fluids, including saliva, urine, or blood.
In most individuals, primary infection with CMV is asymptomatic, with the infected host showing no signs or symptoms of disease. Once an individual is infected with CMV, the virus lies dormant in infected cells and can remain that way for years before reactivating. CMV infection or reactivation can lead to serious complications in hosts whose immune systems are either compromised by disease or suppressed, which is common following stem cell and solid organ transplants.