Cytomegalovirus antibody status at 17–18 weeks of gestation and pre-eclampsia: a case–control study of pregnant women in Norway

Authors

  • KM Strand,

    1. Department of Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway
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  • ML Odland,

    1. Department of Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway
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  • A-C Iversen,

    1. Department of Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway
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  • SA Nordbø,

    1. Department of Laboratory Medicine, Children’s and Women’s Health, Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway
    2. Department of Medical Microbiology, St. Olavs Hospital, Trondheim University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway
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  • T Vik,

    1. Department of Laboratory Medicine, Children’s and Women’s Health, Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway
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  • R Austgulen

    1. Department of Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway
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KM Strand, NTNU, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, PO Box 8905, MTFS, N-7491 Trondheim, Norway. Email krist@stud.ntnu.no

Abstract

Please cite this paper as: Strand K, Odland M, Iversen A, Nordbø S, Vik T, Austgulen R. Cytomegalovirus antibody status at 17–18 weeks of gestation and pre-eclampsia: a case–control study of pregnant women in Norway. BJOG 2012;119:1316–1323.

Objective  To assess the association between maternal cytomegalovirus (CMV) antibodies in mid-pregnancy and pre-eclampsia.

Design  Nested case–control study.

Setting  Pregnancies registered in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study (MoBa): a large population-based pregnancy cohort (1999–2006).

Sample  A cohort of 1500 women with pre-eclampsia and 1000 healthy pregnant women.

Methods  Plasma samples and pregnancy-related information were provided by the MoBa. Antibody status (CMV IgG and CMV IgM) and levels (CMV IgG) at 17–18 weeks of gestation were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

Main outcome measure  A diagnosis of pre-eclampsia, as defined in the Medical Birth Registry of Norway.

Results  There was no evidence of an effect of CMV IgG seropositivity on the likelihood of developing pre-eclampsia, and CMV IgG antibody levels among women who were seropositive did not differ between groups. Adjusted for maternal age, parity and smoking, the odds ratio for pre-eclampsia in women seropositive for CMV IgG was 0.89 (95% CI 0.74–1.05; = 0.17). The proportions of women who were seropositive for IgM did not differ between women with pre-eclampsia and women who were healthy (P = 0.98). Among nulliparous women, the proportion of women who were seropositive for CMV IgG was slightly lower among women with pre-eclampsia (53.5%) than among healthy women (59.8%) (= 0.03). Subgroup analyses were performed for women with early or late onset pre-eclampsia, with preterm delivery and/or with neonates that were small for gestational age, but antibody status did not differ between pre-eclampsia subtypes and controls.

Conclusions  The presence of maternal antibodies to CMV was not associated with pre-eclampsia in our study. The results suggest that CMV infection is unlikely to be a major cause of pre-eclampsia.

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