PREVALENCE OF CYTOMEGALOVIRUS IGG ANTIBODIES, POTENTIAL RISK FACTORS AND AWARENESS OF CONGENITAL CYTOMEGALOVIRUS AMONG FEMALE DOCTORS
Female staff in children-Mother care hospitals may run an increased risk of cytomegalovirus (CMV) contact infection leading to a congenital CMV feto-pathy during pregnancy. Also, because of limited treatment options for congenital cytomegalovirus infection, preventive strategies are important so knowledge and awareness among doctors are essential for the success of preventive strategies. Thus this study was carried out to determine the positive rate of IgG among female doctors at age bearing who care for children and mothers in Sana'a hospitals. Also, to investigate the knowledge of congenital CMV among doctors involved in the study. This cross sectional study was carried out for one year (June 2017- June 2018); 178 Yemeni female doctors were included in this study. 23 (12.9%) of the total female doctors were pediatrics, 32(18%) gynecology and obstetrics, 9 (5.1%) Oto-rhinolaryngology and 114 (64%) were general practices. Blood samples were collected from all participants and tested for IgG antibodies of HCMV by ELISA. The individual's data were collected in a pre-designed questionnaire including; demographic data, risk factors. Also, a questionnaire on CMV infection was answered by doctors on the knowledge concerning epidemiology, transmission, symptoms and signs of CMV infection in adults and children; and treatment options. 13.4% of female doctors were negative (HCMV IgG <9 SU), while the rest (86.6%) were positive (HCMV IgG ≥ 11 SU). There was escalate trend of positive HCMV IgG antibodies rate with increasing age, significance association between sero-positive HCMV IgG antibodies and parity (OR=3.1, p=0.01), 1-3 pregnancy rate (OR=2.2, p=0.05), and history of surgery (OR=3.8, p=0.01). Most of the doctors were aware that most healthy adults and pregnant women do not experience any symptoms of a CMV infection (66.8%); and only one-fifth of the respondents were aware that kissing, and changing diapers, are risk factors for the transmission of CMV. Also, only half of the total respondents were aware that microcephaly (59%), and hearing loss (56.7%) could be symptoms of congenital CMV. This study revealed that the HCMV is highly endemic in our population where the prevalence of IgG among the medical female doctors was 86.5%, thus HCMV should be considered as a possible cause of morbidity and mortality in fetus and might in mothers in Yemen. Increasing knowledge and awareness is expected to enhance the prevention of transmission, to improve recognition, and to stimulate diagnostic investigations and follow-up programs.