antenatal screening programme


Cytomegalovirus is a common virus which can causes mild flu-like symptoms. It is more serious if a woman catches it for the first time while she is pregnant as she may pass the virus on to her baby. The vast majority of infected babies have no signs of being unwell at birth.

Read more about cytomegalovirus on the NHS website.

UK NSC screening recommendation Based on the last UK NSC review of this condition that occurred in December 2017.

Screening is not currently recommended for this condition.

Screening is not recommended because:

  • more evidence is needed to show if testing babies’ saliva would be a suitable screening test
  • it is not known which babies will experience no symptoms and which ones will develop long-term health problems
  • it is likely that screening will find a larger number of babies with the infection who will not have problems from it than those who will
  • currently, it is not clear what is the best way of treating children who do not have symptoms

Supporting documents from the 2017 review

Evidence summary Cytomegalovirus (2017)
This document provides the evidence on which the current UK NSC recommendation is based.

UK NSC Coversheet & consultation responses Cytomegalovirus (2017)
This document summarises the review process including the public consultation comments.

Review cycle

Date previous review completed: 2017

Next review estimated to be completed: 2021 to 2022.

To see previous evidence reviews, visit the UK NSC archive.

Organisations interested in Cytomegalovirus

These organisations have expressed interest in this recommendation and may submit responses to evidence reviews.

List of organisations

If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us. More information for organisation can be found in appendix C of the UK NSC evidence review process.