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8/22/2022  |   11:20 AM - 11:45 AM   |  Governor General III

Vaccination of young children with modestly-protective cytomegalovirus vaccines may effectively prev

Background. CMV vaccines have demonstrated only approximately 50% efficacy against primary maternal infection. However, evidence is limited regarding what vaccine efficacy would be required to impact cCMV at the population level. Methods. We designed a mathematical model to describe CMV transmission, including viral shedding by young children and their interactions with pregnant women. We quantified the immune protection from natural CMV infection, and estimated the impact of various vaccine candidates given at different ages. Results. Given the same infectious exposure, the risk of reinfection was 35% lower than that of primary infection of a seronegative individual, and viral shedding was 75% lower with reinfection than primary infection. A CMV vaccine that conferred the equivalent of natural immunity was less protective than previously tested vaccine candidates and, when given to infants, markedly reduced rates of cCMV. Discussion. Infancy appears to be the optimal age of vaccination to prevent cCMV, by interrupting transmission to pregnant women. We predict that available vaccine candidates, despite being only modestly protective, could be highly effective at preventing cCMV.

  • Understand the importance of CMV transmission from young children to pregnant women
  • Appreciate the ability of natural immunity to reduce the risk of CMV infection and cCMV
  • Consider novel strategies using CMV vaccines to prevent transmission rather than infection

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Session Evaluation

Soren Gantt (POC-Point of Contact,Primary Presenter), soren.gantt.med@ssss.gouv.qc.ca;
Dr. Gantt is a Pediatric Infectious Diseases specialist, the Director of Clinical Research at CHU Sainte-Justine, and Full Professor in the Departments of Microbiology, Infectious Diseases & Immunology and of Pediatrics at the University of Montreal. Dr. Gantt’s current research focuses primarily on the development of CMV vaccines as well as newborn CMV screening programs.


Financial - Receives Consulting fee, Grants for Consulting, Independent contractor (including contracted research) from Moderna, Merck, GSK, VBI Vaccines, Altona Diagnostics.  

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.


Financial - Receives support from Moderna, Merck, GSK, VBI Vaccines, Altona Diagnostics for Consulting and research funding related to CMV vaccine development.