New research has shown that an analysis of a newborn’s saliva is effective in screening for Cytomegalovirus (CMV), which is a leading cause of hearing loss in children and the most common infection passed from a mother to an unborn child. A sample of nearly 35,000 infants from seven different hospitals in the
U.S. was used for analysis in this project. Saliva samples were taken
from infants who were typically one day old. Researchers were able to correctly identify every baby born with the infection when liquid samples were used and 97.4% of babies when samples were dried. CMV affects 20,000 to 30,000 infants each year who have contracted the virus while in utero. 10-15 percent of infected infants are at risk of developing hearing loss.