On February 6th, 2023, Minnesota became the first state to screen all newborns for congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV), the most common infectious birth defect in the United States. Though anyone can be infected with CMV, the virus can be passed through the placenta from the mother to the fetus during the 9 month pregnancy term, resulting in concerning birth defects such as hearing loss.

The University of Minnesota research team, lead by Mark Schleiss, MD, Professor in the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Minnesota, pushed for these changes, bringing the idea to hospitals across the state and screening over 12,000 newborns over a 5-year span. Additionally, Dr. Schleiss and his team were able to develop new and improved CMV testing techniques that utilize already collected dried blood spots at birth, eliminating the need for new tests outside of what was already collected. 

To learn more about Dr. Schleiss's work at the University of Minnesota, follow this link

To read the original article and view Dr. Schleiss's comments on the accomplishments, follow this link.