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  • Author: Lilia I. Ivanova x
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Abstract

Background: Human cytomegalovirus is a ubiquitous, large enveloped DNA β-herpesvirus that, like other herpesviruses, establishes lifelong latency following primary infection. It is the most frequent cause of congenital, neonatal and early postnatal infections with long lasting sequelae.

Aim: The aim of the present study was to assess the prevalence of cytomegalovirus among a cohort of newborns and 1-3-month-old children with neurological symptoms, physical retardation, prolonged jaundice, thrombocytopenic purpura and other disabilities.

Materials and methods: The study was a retrospective cross-sectional analysis of serological screening data for detection of specific anti-cytomegalovirus IgM and IgG in children from Northeastern Bulgaria.

Results: Between 2003 and 2015, average prevalences of 18.8% (95% CI: 15.4 to 22.2) for anti-CMV IgM antibodies (suggesting acute infection) and 84.7% (95% CI: 81.6 to 87.8) for anti-CMV IgG antibodies were measured in a total number of 517 samples. The prevalence rate of anti-CMV IgM in 1-3-month-old children was 4-fold higher than that in newborns [25.8% (95% CI: 21.1 to 30.5) and 6.4% (95% CI: 2.9 to 9.9, respectively]. In contrast, no significant difference was found for anti- CMV IgG positivity between newborns and 1-3-month-old infants (84% and 85%, respectively).

Conclusions: The data obtained strongly encourage screening of pregnant women for anti-CMV IgG and IgM to avoid transmission of the infection and severe complications of congenital infection.

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Neurotrophins have an important role in regulating the development and maintenance of the peripheral and central nervous systems’ function. Thus, the neurotrophin hypothesis of schizophrenia has postulated that the changes in the brain of schizophrenic patients are the result of disturbances of developing processes involving these molecules. AIM: We analyse in the present study the changes in the serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in schizophrenic patients as possible epiphenomena of underlying alterations of the neurotrophic factor in central nervous system, reflecting its role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Twenty-one schizophrenic patients satisfying the DSM-IV criteria for diagnosis of schizophrenia were enrolled in the study. The control group consisted of 28 age-matched mentally healthy subjects. Serum BDNF levels were determined in patients and normal controls using ELISA (Chemicon International, USA & Canada). The data were analyzed statistically with Student’s t- test in SPSS 9.0. RESULTS: The serum BDNF levels were lower in the schizophrenic patients than in the control subjects, reaching statistically significant difference (t = 2.72, p = 0.009). Female patients had lower serum BDNF levels than the male patients but the difference fell short of statistical significance (t = 0.1, p = 0.9). CONCLUSIONS: The BDNF reduction in serum indicates a potential deficit in neurotrophic factor release in patients with schizophrenia and support the concept that BDNF might be associated with schizophrenia