The UK NSC recommendation on cytomegalovirus screening in newborns

Recommendation Systematic population screening programme not recommended
Last review completed December 2017
Next review due in 2020/21
Key downloads

Find general information about population health screening.

Why is screening not recommended by UK NSC?

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

More about Cytomegalovirus

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 NHS Choices


The British Association of Audiovestibular Physicians
Faculty of Public Health
Royal College of General Practitioners
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Royal College of Physicians
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

The stakeholder groups will be involved when the recommendation is next reviewed. If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us. More information for stakeholders can be found in appendix C of the UK NSC evidence review process.

Related documents

icon Evidence summary- cytomegalovirus (2011) (PDF document, 117KB, 19/12/19)

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