To determine the frequency of pregnancy and exposure to CMV among mothers contemplating a possible additional pregnancy and with a child less than 2 years of age in group day care.
We performed a prospective observational study which included a demographic questionnaire and serologic and virologic monitoring of mothers and their children in day care.
Of 60 women, 62% were seronegative and 20% had a child shedding CMV. Of the 60 women, 23 women or 38% (95% CI = 0.27, 0.51) became pregnant on average 10 months after enrollment. During pregnancy, eight or 35% (95% CI = 0.19, 0.55) of these pregnant women had a child in day care who shed CMV
These results illustrate the potential magnitude of the public problem associated with exposure to a silent viral infection during pregnancy. Our data, when extrapolated to the U.S. population, estimate that every two years between 31,000 and 168,000 susceptible pregnant women will be exposed to CMV by an infected child.