Congenital cytomegalovirus: Awareness among a medical student cohort

McCarthy, Erin (2020) Congenital cytomegalovirus: Awareness among a medical student cohort. Research Report. Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador. (Submitted)

[img] [English] PDF - Submitted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (82kB)


Introduction: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a human virus that is widely prevalent globally and is a leading cause of congenital infections. Congenital CMV infection can cause a host of neurodevelopmental delays and other effects, including sensorineural hearing loss, of which is it the main non-genetic cause of childhood deafness. Despite this, public knowledge of the virus is low, and it has been demonstrated that many physicians are not aware of the impact of congenital CMV infection, and even fewer counsel patients on prevention. The objective of the present study is to assess knowledge of Memorial University medical students of congenital CMV infection, and attitudes towards patient counselling and prevention strategies. Methods: A short questionnaire was distributed to undergraduate medical students at Memorial University, as well as undergraduate science students. The questions assessed knowledge with regards to transmission, sequelae, treatment, and prevention of the infection, as well as student’s knowledge of current prevention and patient counselling guidelines for physicians. Results: When questioned on prevalence, the majority of students reported they did not know, 36.1% of medical and 0% of undergraduate students correctly identified CMV as the most prevalent congenital condition worldwide. The majority of students reported that they did not know the method of transmission of CMV, which is through bodily fluids such as blood and saliva. Overall, the majority medical students were unaware of the prevalence of congenital CMV, the transmission of the virus and the clinical outcomes of the disease. Interpretation: This study demonstrated that there is an overall low level of knowledge regarding congenital CMV infection amongst students. CMV is a common congenital infection worldwide and carries a significant global burden of disease. Therefore, the results of this small pilot study indicate that education on the topic should be increased in medical education. More research is needed to validate findings and further explore the knowledge of students and medical practitioners with respect to this very prevalent and relatively unknown condition.

Item Type: Report (Research Report)
Item ID: 14255
Department(s): Medicine, Faculty of > Biomedical Sciences
Date: 2020
Date Type: Submission
Related URLs:

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over the past year

View more statistics