Saliva Test Spots Virus That Can Cause Hearing Loss In Newborns

Posted on June 10, 2011. Filed under: 1, Hear the World, hearing education, hearing educatoin, hearing health | Tags: , , , , |


In previous articles we have discussed the importance of early detection of hearing loss in infants. A new study done by the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has gone over how a saliva test might be able to detect a virus which leads to hearing loss in newborns.

The virus called cytomegalovirus, once found can be treated to help prevent hearing health conditions such as deafness in children.  This type of infection is passed from mother to child, and affects thousands of newborns each year.

The study examined mouth swabs from almost 35,000 infants from seven different U.S. hospitals. The virus was found in 97 percent to 100 percent of cases. Study co-author Dr. Suresh Boppana explains, “We now know that we have a test with saliva that works”, he goes on to say, “The challenge is, unlike the dried blood spot [heel stick], which is already used for newborn screening in hospitals across the country, we don’t have a system in place for the collection of saliva. But we’ve shown that if you wanted to test a lot of babies for congenital CMV infection, it can be done.”

This new finding will help in early diagnosis of a virus that might lead to loss of hearing. By doing so, children will have a better chance to develop their speech and language abilities normally and prevent hearing damage. If you believe your child might suffer from any kind of hearing condition, contact your local Audiologist.



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