Dr. Marianne Leruez-Ville of Hopital Necker, Paris, and colleagues came to this conclusion after studying screening results in almost 4800 children born to HIV-infected mothers between 1993 and 2004.

In the pre-HAART era (1993 to 1996), the prevalence of CMV infection in live-born children was 3% versus 1.5% from 2001 to 2004. The prevalence of CMV infection for the overall period was 2.3%.

Overall CMV prevalence rates in HIV 1-infected babies were 10.3% and 2.2% in uninfected neonates. The authors found that the prevalence of CMV infection was significantly higher among HIV-1 infected infants regardless of time period.

In addition, the proportion of symptomatic CMV infections was 23.1% in HIV-infected newborns compared to 6.7% in those without HIV.

In conclusion, say the investigators, congenital CMV infection was highly prevalent among children born to HIV-1-infected mothers.

The prevalence of this infection, they add, remained high and was associated with frequent morbidity in newborns who were coinfected with HIV-1. Systematic screening for CMV infection should therefore be recommended in these children.