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BCM - Baylor College of Medicine

Giving life to possible

Congenital CMV Disease Research Clinic & Registry

Glossary of Terms

Antibody
Immune substance in the serum portion of the blood that helps fight off and control the infection or disease. There are at least two types of antibodies, IgG and IgM, produced in response to a CMV infection.
CMV IgG
Antibody made at the time of first infection. It persists throughout life after a CMV infection.
CMV IgM
Antibody made early at the time of the first infection with CMV. It usually disappears within 12 to 18 weeks and, therefore, can be used as indication of a recent infection in healthy individuals.
Congenital Infection
Infection passed from mother to unborn child prior to birth. It is documented by isolation of the virus from a body fluid, such as urine, collected in the first three weeks of the baby's life.
Disease
Damage to tissues that gives signs and symptoms.
Immunity
Body's ability to resist infection based on the production of antibodies and white blood cells.
Infection
Entry of an agent, such as the virus called CMV, into the body. Usually there is production of an immune response. Infection may or may not be associated with disease.
Acquired Infection
Infection with CMV that occurred sometime after birth.
Primary CMV Infection
The first time someone catches CMV infection.
Reinfection
A type of recurrent CMV infection. It is a repeat infection with a new strain of the CMV virus. This type of infection is very unusual and may only occur during special circumstances. Its consequences are unknown at this time.
Seropositive
Antibody (IgG) present or positive in serum ("immune").
Seronegative
Antibody (IgG) absent or negative in serum ("non-immune").
Virus Shedding
Presence of the virus active in body fluids, such as urine, saliva, breast milk, semen, and cervical secretions. Virus shedding can be detected by a viral culture. It also may be called virus excretion.