The Transmission of Cytomegalovirus to Preterm Infants via Breastmilk: Evidence and Issues

  • Description
  • Credit Hours
  • Outline



This course developed by Jean Rhodes, PhD, CNM, IBCLC investigates the evidence and issues related to the transmission of cytomegalovirus via breastmilk to preterm infants. Since the discovery of CMV in breastmilk, neonatal clinicians and researchers have attempted to reduce the risk of CMV acquisition by vulnerable preterm infants by withholding or temperature treating sero-positive mothers’ milk. Through discussion of three current research articles, this presentation reframes the issues in terms of new evidence related to infant outcomes and the alteration of fresh mothers’ milk.

1 Hour 0 Minutes
Course ID

Credit Hours

  • Nursing - 1.0 Contact Hours



  • Review cytomegalovirus infections in pregnancy, lactation, term and preterm infants
  • Identify the most common signs of breastmilk acquired CMV infection in preterm infants
  • Discuss the prevalence of severe CMV symptoms in preterm infants receiving CMV–positive breastmilk and the risk of long-term sequelae
  • Discuss the pattern of CMV shedding in the breastmilk of CMV sero-positive mothers
  • Compare the impact of freezing and pasteurization of human breastmilk on CMV transmission to the preterm infant
  • Identify the effects of freezing on at least three components of human milk
  • Identify the CMV transmission rate and symptoms of infection in the subjects of this study
  • Compare morbidity and long-term outcomes between CMV infected and non-infected infants in this study
  • Discuss the possible impact of immunoglobulin therapy on the transmission of CMV via breastmilk to the preterm infant


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