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Freeze-thawing of breast milk does not prevent cytomegalovirus transmission to a preterm infant
  1. J Maschmann1,
  2. K Hamprecht2,
  3. B Weissbrich3,
  4. K Dietz4,
  5. G Jahn2,
  6. C P Speer1
  1. 1Children’s Hospital, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
  2. 2Institute of Medical Virology and Epidemiology of Viral Diseases, University Hospital of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
  3. 3Institute of Virology and Immunobiology, University of Würzburg
  4. 4Department of Medical Biometry, University Hospital of Tübingen
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Maschmann
    Children’s Hospital, University of Würzburg, Josef-Schneider-Str 2, 97080 Würzburg, Germany; jens.maschmann{at}


Freezing human milk is recommended to inactivate cytomegalovirus (CMV). A case of a preterm infant exclusively receiving frozen breast milk from his CMV seropositive mother showed that storage of breast milk for two months at −20°C did not prevent symptomatic postnatal CMV infection.

  • CMV, cytomegalovirus
  • BAL, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid
  • PCR, polymerase chain reaction
  • breast milk
  • cytomegalovirus
  • infection
  • nutrition
  • preterm

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  • Funding: this study was supported by a grant from Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), Bonn, Germany (DFG HA 1559/2-1).

  • Competing interests: none declared