Maternal cytomegalovirus sero-positivity and autism symptoms in children.

Am J Reprod Immunol. 2018 Mar 09;:

Authors: Slawinski BL, Talge N, Ingersoll B, Smith A, Glazier A, Kerver J, Paneth N, Racicot K

PROBLEM: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is one of the most commonly diagnosed neurodevelopmental disorders in the United States. While ASD can be significantly influenced by genetics, prenatal exposure to maternal infections has also been implicated in conferring risk. Despite this, the effects of several important maternal pathogens, such as cytomegalovirus (CMV) and herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV2), remain unknown.
METHOD OF STUDY: We tested whether maternal CMV and/or HSV2 sero-positivity was associated with ASD symptoms in children. ELISA was used to assay for CMV IgG and HSV2 IgG in serum from the mothers of 82 children whose ASD symptoms were assessed at 3-6 years of age using the Social Responsiveness Scale version 2 (SRS-2).
RESULTS: Associations between maternal viral serostatus and SRS-2 scores were estimated using linear regression with covariate adjustments. The children of mothers sero-positive for CMV, but not for HSV2, had SRS-2 scores 3.6-4.2 points higher, depending on the adjustment model, than sero-negative women, a significant finding, robust to several statistical adjustments.
CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that maternal CMV infections may influence ASD symptoms. These findings are being further evaluated in ongoing prospective studies with larger population samples.

PMID: 29520885 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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