The Current Status of Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Prevalence in the MENA region: a systematic review
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Human cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a highly prevalent herpesvirus worldwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), CMV infects people of all ages, and by the age of five, approximately one-third of children in the United States are infected. Although the infection is generally asymptomatic, it can cause severe disease in immunocompromised patients, transplant and transfusion recipients, as well as newborn neonates. The objective of this study is to systematically review published literature on CMV in the MENA region to estimate its incidence in the region and describe its epidemiological and clinical significance. The literature was searched through four scientific databases: PubMed, Scopus, Science Direct, and Web of Science. A total of 72 studies from 11 countries satisfied the inclusion criteria, covering a period from 1988–2019. The CMV IgG seroprevalence ranged from 8.7–99.2% (SD = 38.95%). CMV incidence in these countries ranged between 1.22% and 77% in transplant and transfusion recipients, with an increase in incidence with advanced age. However, the incidence rate was unclear for congenital CMV due to the variability of the reporting. This review highlights the need for more robust and well-designed studies to better estimate CMV incidence in the MENA region, standardize diagnostic criteria, and consider prophylactic and pre-emptive treatments to limit the morbidity and mortality of the disease.