Cytomegalovirus or CMV is a type of virus that also contains other viruses, such as Epstein-Barr virus and Varicella zoster virus. This virus causes chickenpox and shingles.  Cytomegalovirus tests can help to check for cytomegalovirus. This virus is not as contagious as a coronavirus. But unlike coronavirus, this virus is difficult to detect with simple tests. COVID19 can be easily detected with a simple antigen test. For example antigen fit to fly test is a mandatory test that one has to take before flying. But, CMV requires complicated tests like the cytomegalovirus test. 

Cytomegalovirus is a common virus and it can have severe effects. An infant can get the infection from its mother.  The infant can suffer from Intellectual disability and hearing problems, with almost 10% of the contaminates. Infection in the fetus can lead to microcephaly, hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, mental disability, or even death. The congenital infection that is passed from the mother to the child during pregnancy is often known as TORCH. The term TORCH is an abbreviation for toxoplasmosis, other diseases, R- rubella, and C- CMV (cytomegalovirus, herpes). Only good quality testing from government recognized labs can determine the types of infection and the underlying causes.  As such, infectivity has pathogenic severe and harmful effects on the fetus.

Why is the cytomegalovirus test done?

Infection usually occurs in fetuses, children, and adolescents. The risk of CMV infection is higher in people who are gay or lesbian, organ transplant patients, and those who have AIDS. Often infection occurs through contact with fluids or urine. A blood infection is a typical CMV spreader. Most patients with acute CMV infection have few symptoms, and some have none. Specific tests can detect CMV symptoms, which can tell whether you have an infection or not. The doctor will study the virus by examining the blood samples, body fluids, tissue samples, and PCR or transplant. Unlike the antigen fit to fly test or swap test for coronavirus, the CMV test requires amniotic fluid, blood or sputum samples depending upon the type of patient. 

Screening test for infants:

The process begins with screening the pregnant woman who shows symptoms of infection. There is very little chance that the pregnant woman’s antibodies will fully protect the fetus and protect it from infection. If a new infection comes out during pregnancy, the patient should think about getting an amniotic fluid puncture test. The doctor determines whether the fetus is infected with the virus or not from the amniotic fluid. Generally, the importance of the amniotic fluid puncture test is more when physical conditions are disturbed due to the CMV virus, and other infections are detected on ultrasound. If the doctor thinks that the baby may have a congenital CMV infection (infected after birth), it is essential to have it tested in the first three weeks after birth from a government approved lab.

The results take a long period of time. Due to the long delay, the test will not be able to give you an accurate report of whether your baby suffers from congenital CMV or not. During the long gap between tests and results, the infant could get infected due to many other reasons. 

Screening and testing if you are suffering from a deficiency of the immune system:

If you have a disorder that weakens the immune system or damages your ability to fight diseases, then the CMV test may prove to be effective for you. If you have HIV or AIDS, you need to have CMV screening. Even if you don’t have an active infection, you still need screening to rule out problems with CMV infection, such as vision or hearing problems. There is no requirement for a specific preparation before taking a cytomegalovirus test. The doctor can guide you about the process and you can take the test anytime you want. You cannot order online a self-test kit like the coronavirus kit for day 2 & 8 tests during mandatory quarantine. 

Cytomegalovirus test- The process?

To isolate the culture, the doctor may use urine, sputum, and saliva samples. The doctor may also order new samples for isolating more cultures. It may take two to three days to culture the samples in the lab. The doctor will take a blood sample in a tube with a yellow or red lid to test for titer or antigen antibodies. Therefore this test requires more time for results as compared to other viral tests. The doctor may ask the patient to come back after 2 to 4 weeks to take additional samples. Thus, only after multiple tests, the doctor will finalize the types of infections and the medication.

What Happens After a Cytomegalovirus Test?

After giving a blood sample, you should put on a bandage to stop the bleeding and keep the vein pressed. If you have any questions regarding the cytomegalovirus test, please consult your doctor to understand the instructions better.

What do my results mean?

There are two types of results. Normal and Abnormal. A normal result means there is no CMV infection. An abnormal result means that there can be CMV infection. This is determined with the help of antibodies present in the samples. If the amount of antibodies (antibody titre) rises within a few weeks, it means that you presently have an infection or had it recently. The normal range for cytomegalovirus test results may differ in different hospitals or labs. Patients with CMV should not travel. The immunity of such patients is weak and such patients are prone to other infections. Even if the patient has passed the antigen fit to fly test, they are not strong enough to face the travel stress and can be easily infected with corona transmitted from an infected co-passenger during the flight. 

We hope you like this article about CMV antibodies. In this article, we have tried to give most of the information related to the cytomegalovirus test, which can be very useful for you. If you want more details on the cytomegalovirus test, then you should contact your doctor.

 

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