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Referral related to systematic screening for cytomegalovirus in gamete and embryo donors

In addition to a referral related to systematic screening for cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection during pregnancy that is currently processed by the High Council for Public Health (HCSP), the General Direction for Health (DGS) has requested additional expertise on the systematic screening of CMV in gamete and embryo donors in the context of medically assisted procreation (MAP). In view of the international literature, the available animal models and the practices implemented abroad, it appears, with regard to oocytes and embryos, that no viral genome or infectious virus was detected, even if the woman or her partner was shedding virus in the genital tract. For spermatozoa, although the preparation techniques do not totally eliminate the viral material which may be associated with these gametes, it is noted that no case of transmission of CMV has ever been reported during an assisted reproductive technique (ART) procedure with an experience of more than 20 years at the international level.

These elements lead the HCSP to align its recommendations with those of the European Union and not to recommend routine screening for CMV during ART operations, including for sperm donation. However, in the event of an evocative clinical picture in a person involved within an act of ART, the HCSP recommends carrying out a serological assessment including anti-CMV IgM in search of a recent infection in order to postpone the collection of spermatozoa or fertilization in the event of a positive result. Finally, the HCSP recalls that all pregnant women and their spouses, including those couples using ART, are strongly encouraged to comply with the hygiene rules detailed in its opinion published on the 18th May of 2018 in order to avoid contamination from people around them and in particular from children potentially excreting the virus in saliva or urine.

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