Cytomegalovirus: Symptoms and Treatment
- The spread of cytomeglovirus infection
- Symptoms of cytomegalovirus infection
- Development of the disease
- CMV infection and its diagnosis
- Cytomegalovirus and pregnancy
- Treatment of cytomegalovirus
- Prevention of CMV infection
- Folk remedies for cytomegalovirus
CMV or cytomegalovirus infection is a virus, the study of which began in the middle of the 20th century, which was given a big name because of the amount of damage it produces in the body: "a large poison that destroys the cell." Cytomegalovirus infection, a herpes-type disease, belongs to the 5th Type of infection. Because of the widespread development and ease of distribution, it is in the group of leaders in the number of infected on a global scale. Citalomegavirus is a disease that is inactive in the body of 4 out of 5 adults and every second child. Countries, continents, or even cities where no carriers of this DNA-containing virus have been identified, no. Safe for healthy people, but carrying a mortal threat to immunocompromised people, including pregnant women, cytomegalovirus is the subject of active research by scientists. But at the moment, neither the detailed mechanics of the disease course nor the 100% guarantee for the cure of the drug have been found.
The optimal environment for the virus of cytomegaly - body fluids, in particular saliva. In spite of this, it can live any organ or tissue of the human body. Destructive impact can occur:
- In the brain and its membranes;
- On mucous ENT organs (nasopharynx);
- On the retina of the eye;
- In the bronchial tract, in particular the epithelium of the bronchi and lungs;
- In the genito-urinary organs;
- In the hematopoietic system;
- In the digestive system.
The risk group, for which regular monitoring of the form and development of CMV is a vital necessity, are: pregnant women, persons with a tendency to manifestations of herpes of any kind and persons seen by a doctor on immunodeficiency problems.
The spread of cytomeglovirus infection
Infection of this type occurs in several ways:
- Air-droplet and in the exchange of saliva partners in a kiss;
- In the process of blood transfusion from the recipient of an infected donor;
- Prenatal (intrauterine) infection of the fetus;
- Infection of the child during passage through the mother's birth canal;
- Through the mother's milk with the natural type of feeding.
Doctors reassure that the airborne pathway is by no means the most frequent way to infect CMV, and simple communication with the carrier rarely causes infection. The most common ways - a kiss and an intimate relationship.
Symptoms of cytomegalovirus infection
In medical practice, three main variants of the course of CMV infection are considered, each of which requires a certain approach:
- Virus in the body of a person who does not have immune system disorders;
- Virus in individuals with impaired functioning immune system;
- Congenital generalized cytomegal.
Each of these groups has its own characteristics of the course of the disease and symptomatology.
For a patient who has good immunity, not suffering from serious diseases, the course of CMV infection will resemble usual colds or ARVI. Headaches and general malaise, fast fatigue and attention loss, runny nose, signs of bronchitis, as well as drawing pains in the muscles can be observed. Such a course of the disease, called a mononucleosis-like syndrome, can be accompanied by an increase in temperature or chills, in a stronger form, inflammation of the tonsils or an increase in lymph nodes. Since for 2-6 weeks the antibodies produced by the body themselves cope with the infection, leaving no trace of it, the patients prone to self-treatment often often do not recognize the true diagnosis, writing off the ailments for flu or cold. The incubation period of CMVI lasts from three weeks to two months, so the relationship with the actual source of infection, as a rule, the patient also does not note.
Rarely manifests itself and the chronic form of the disease, which makes itself felt by rare violations of the genitourinary system, in the form of mild inflammation. This type of disease is dangerous for relapses that occur when the defenses of the body decrease. In addition, the carrier, which poses a danger to people living with him and a sexual partner living in the same room, the patient himself, who practically does not experience inconveniences from the latent form of the virus, is also.
To the second group of persons, for whom cytomegalovirus is the most dangerous, are:
- People with positive HIV status;
- Persons who have undergone chemotherapy or immunosuppressant therapy;
- Persons who are on maintenance therapy after organ transplants or after a serious surgical procedure;
- Patients on hemodialysis.
In this group of patients, the disease is most acute and has serious consequences. The virus affects and destroys the tissues of the liver, spleen, kidneys and adrenals, stomach and pancreas. External manifestations may be similar to those of pneumonia or ulcers, the appearance of a rash and a visually marked increase in the volume of the salivary glands and lymph nodes. The content of platelets is sharply reduced.
For patients with immunodeficiency, cytomegalovirus infection is one of the frequent causes of death.
The last group is children born from a mother who carries the virus in an active form. The appearance of a child with such a pathology is not uncommon, although the fetus infected rarely survives until the 12th week of development, as a rule, this pregnancy ends with a miscarriage.
Development of the disease
The incubation period is 20-60 days, acute during 2-6 weeks after the incubation period. The presence in the body in a latent state both after infection and during periods of decay is unlimited. Even the field of the treatment course the virus in the body lives for life, maintaining the risk of recurrence, therefore, the safety of pregnancy and full-fledged doctors can not guarantee even with the onset of persistent and prolonged remission.
CMV infection and its diagnosis
After complaints of general malaise and other symptoms characteristic of such infections, a set of tests is used to confirm or refute the preliminary diagnosis. In the case of cytomegalovirus infection, the virus can be isolated and described in detail after a series of studies of the liquids submitted for analysis: blood, sperm, saliva, urine. Most often, urinalysis is performed.
Methods of research are:
- Culture or hybridization;
- Polymerase chain reaction (diagnosis with nucleic acids, aimed at determining the DNA of CMV);
PCR or polymerase chain reaction is a procedure with nucleic acids aimed at determining the DNA of CMV and confirming their presence in the presented liquid. Based on this method, an accurate diagnosis is not made, since the presence of cells does not mean their activity. Based on this study, the question is raised about the need for further testing.
The method of sowing for most laboratories is basic, since it does not require special equipment. Due to this research, the type of the virus, its form and degree of aggressiveness are established. Also on the culture colony obtained as a result of seeding, experiments are conducted on the selection of the most effective method of treatment, since in each case it is individual.
The laboratory method of serodiagnosis involves the search not only for the virus itself, but also for the antibodies produced by the body, the presence of which in a concentration above the norm indicates the presence of CMV in one form or another. The diagnosis is considered confirmed in case of detection of the virus itself or in case of detection of the regularity of the increase in the amount of antibodies IgG. For this, the analysis is performed several times with an interval of 10-15 days. If the figure exceeds the norm, the content of antibodies in several analyzes can be diagnosed with a latent state of the disease, since a complete cure is impossible. Accurate confirmation of the form of the structure, which is characteristic of primary infection, is the presence in the sample of antibodies of the acute phase of IgM.
Cytomegalovirus and pregnancy
The diagnosis of "cytomegalovirus" in Russia is given to every 4th pregnant woman, observed in the women's consultation. In individuals with an antisocial lifestyle and prone to promiscuous sexual intercourse, this indicator is higher, as for all STDs. Up to 85% of children born from an acute mother-bearing cytomegalovirus have a disability in the health and development provoked by this disease. These can be vices:
- The delay in the growth and development of the baby (including serious mental retardation),
- Vasculitis of several types;
- Various types of skin rashes;
- Visual impairment (including retinopathy) and hearing (eg, congenital deafness);
- Increased internal organs;
- Pathology of development of teeth.
Mortality in children in this case reaches 30%, and early infection almost always ends in miscarriage. With the favorable development of pregnancy, which allowed the fetus to remain uninfected, the risk of infection remains until the very process of childbirth. A child can get an infection both from contact with the mucous mother during the passage of the birth canal, and through the blood, if the birth occurs by the operation of a cesarean section. And taking into account the cases of infection through the mother's milk, the mother has practically no chance to develop a healthy baby with a sharp form of cytomegalovirus infection.
At the same time, the latent or "sleeping" form of the virus does not pose a significant danger to the fetus. Nature herself took care of the protection of the child. If the mother's immunity copes with the virus present in the body or the infection has already entered the body prior to conception and has not manifested itself, then the baby will be transmitted to the birth and its antibodies. In addition, the placenta is an excellent filter that can protect the fetus from aggressive effects. Therefore, the pregnant women who are pregnant immediately after the diagnosis are waiting for the prescription of any medications and procedures, do not worry if the medicines were not prescribed. All that is needed in this case is surveillance and measures to strengthen immunity.
The examination for cytomegalovirus infection is included in the standard free assay package, which allows you to exclude these risks with a planned pregnancy after having completed treatment in advance. In the absence of immunity to cytomegalovirus, confirmed by negative IgG results in ELISA, the pregnant woman should be observed at least once every 3 months to completely eliminate the risk of missing the early stage of infection, which is most dangerous. The best prevention of infection from the patient in acute stage - control of sexual relations, protected sex and timely examination of both partners.
Treatment of cytomegalovirus
Speaking about the treatment of cytomegalovirus infection, two things must be considered:
- People who do not have health problems, treatment is not required;
- People with immunocompromised treatment are vital.
Complete cure for cytomegalovirus is impossible, as it is impossible to select drugs that reduce the viral load on the body. The course of the disease in each individual is especially individual, and the complex of drugs, which are often used for therapy, should be selected according to the results of the analysis of a particular patient.
Complex treatment in the case of cytomegalovirus infection combines two necessary directions. First, the maximum destruction of the virus itself, secondly, the maintenance of the human immune system and the awakening of its own protective functions. To destroy the virus, antiviral drugs are used, for example panavir. Also, treatment with ganciclovir, focsarnet or valganciclovir can be prescribed. All these drugs are toxic, their use has a list of side effects and contraindications. Self-medication and self-medication by such means is prohibited, because with the wrong choice of the drug the effect can be opposite: the immune system, unable to withstand such additional burden, will become even more vulnerable to the virus.
In some cases, a doctor may be prescribed immunoglobulin treatment, that is, a drug prepared from human blood and already containing a small amount of antibodies capable of resisting the infection. This is a course of intravenous injections, conducted only under the supervision of a health worker, strictly according to the prescribed schedule. The use of this method has already proved its effectiveness, but the full picture of its action on the body is not fully understood, therefore, the appointment will occur only after passing the full range of analyzes. In addition, there are a number of contraindications to the treatment of cytomegalovirus immunoglobulin:
- A parallel course of other vaccinations containing a strain of a virus;
- Diabetes mellitus of any type;
- An allergic predisposition of the body;
- Kidney problems and kidney failure;
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding.
The application of the method requires control over all changes in the body: when dyspnoea appears, problems with urination, the appearance of signs of cold and viral diseases, even in mild forms, a sharp weight gain and the appearance of puffiness, it is required to immediately notify the attending physician and possibly adjust the course of treatment. Also, the symptoms of an allergic reaction to the drug may be symptoms similar to meningitis: drowsiness, eyesight in case of severe light, nausea and vomiting.
Prevention of CMV infection
Prevention of infection with cytomegalovirus infection doctors primarily call the use of condoms when having sex with a non-regular partner, doubting the health of which there are reasons. Also, it is necessary to exclude kisses from a person who has signs of any viral infectious disease: a runny nose, sore throat, weakness and fever. Especially relevant are precautionary measures for pregnant women who are responsible for their unborn baby, so they should be especially careful.
For all viral diseases, the most effective prevention is the strengthening of immunity. Accordingly, these are all those methods that are known since childhood:
- Hardening of the body;
- Culture of hygiene and physical education;
- Control over the menu and the addition of vitamins;
- biologically active additives.
Of medicinal herbs effective for the treatment and prevention of any viral diseases, including cytomegalovirus infection, you can call ginseng, echinacea, schisandra. Their use in the form of teas has a positive effect both in the fight against the virus itself, and as a general health-improving and immunostimulating agent.
Folk remedies for cytomegalovirus
To prevent infection and maintain infection in the latent state, you can use and folk remedies, but not to the detriment of drug therapy, if one is prescribed.
- Infusion of seven herbs. In equal proportions, a rosemary, birch buds, yarrow, leuzea, thyme, a string and a bug are taken. For 10 grams of crushed dry product, add 1 liter of boiling water and insist in the thermos for 12 hours. Infusion is taken together with food for ¼ cup.
- With the same method of preparation, a set of leuzea, licorice, penny, alder, chamomile and string are also used.
- Phytospora based on licorice root contains 1 part of flax seeds, althea root, leaves of mother-and-stepmother and raspberry, sabelnik and elecampane on 4 parts of the main component. Brewed for 3 hours, used for ¼ cup before meals.
- The use of garlic and onion is relevant for all types of viral diseases, CMV infection is no exception. Adding 1 tooth to the food or 1/6 of a small bulb of fresh product a day reduces the risk of infection by 30%.
- The spread of the virus in a room where people with infectious diseases are located can be prevented by spraying or evaporating tea tree oil in the air. In the first case, the agent is used in the form of an alcohol-based spray (this form is sold in pharmacies), in the second case, an aroma lamp or steam bath is used to evaporate the volatile ether.