In the United States, about 40 to 60 percent of all adults in the middle- and upper-socioeconomic classes show antibody proof of prior infection with CMV; antibody proof is as high as 80 percent in adults in the lower socioeconomic class.
Although most infants exposed to CMV before birth develop normally and do not show any symptoms, as many as 6,000 infants who were exposed to CMV before birth are born with serious complications each year.
The name of the test is an acronym derived from the initial letters of the five groups of chronic infections: toxoplasmosis, other viruses, rubella, cytomegalovirus (CMV), and herpes simplex virus (HSV).
A 2003 report found that pregnant women 25 years of age and older who are immune to CMV are much less likely to pass the virus to their babies than younger women who have never been exposed to CMV.
Of those babies born with congenital CMV infection, about 10 percent to 20 percent ultimately suffer form hearing impairment, eye damage, or problems with intellectual or motor function.