Duke Ob/Gyn’s Brenna Hughes, MD, and Sallie Permar, MD, PhD, pediatric infectious disease specialist, presented at this week’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Conference on Congenital Cytomegalovirus infection. The NIH conference discussed advancing strategies for prevention and treatment of CMV. Jointly sponsored by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and NIAID, the conference brought together scientists to discuss research needed to advance development of a vaccine and treatment strategies to decrease the burden of congenital CMV — the most common viral infection passed to the fetus during pregnancy.
Cytomegalovirus infection causes significant morbidity and mortality in congenitally-infected infants and transplant recipients. There is no licensed vaccine for CMV, and antiviral treatment of CMV infection is challenged by drug toxicities and emergence of resistant CMV isolates in treated patients. New approaches for both prevention and treatment would have a substantial public health impact in both populations, but numerous challenges have hampered progress in these areas.
Dr. Hughes also received a $200,208 grant to further study CMV from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).