Genetic variations in the gB, UL144 and UL149 genes of human cytomegalovirus strains collected from congenitally and postnatally infected Japanese children
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Human cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the leading cause of intrauterine viral infection. The association of genetic polymorphisms in some particular genes with the incidence and severity of congenital infection has been controversial. To address this issue, we analyzed the genotypes of the glycoprotein B (gB), UL144 and UL149 genes of CMV clinical strains obtained from 33 congenitally and 31 postnatally infected Japanese children. Our results demonstrated that (1) CMV strains with any combination of genotypes could be vertically transmitted from mother to fetus, potentially causing neurological abnormalities, (2) the gB3 genotype was more prevalent in the congenital cases than in postnatally infected children (P < 0.05), particularly in congenital cases with sensorineural hearing loss (P = 0.009), (3) there was no relationship between gB genotype and viral load in the urine and dried umbilical cord specimens in the congenital cases, and (4) the UL144 and UL149 genotype distributions had no bias for congenial infection. In future studies, it would be interesting to see whether the gB genotypes serve as a prognostic indicator of CMV-associated diseases.
Polymerase chain reaction
Sensorineural hearing loss
We thank Phillip E. Pellett, Naoki Nozawa, and Kenji Fujieda for their intellectual input, and Risa Taniguchi and Hitomi Komura for their technical assistance. This study was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan, a Grant for Child Health and Development from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Japan (NI), and a fellowship from the Atsumi Foundation (HY).
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