Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common pathogen, associated with mild illness in most immunocompetent people. Historically, research on CMV infection in the relatively immunocompromised premature and small-for-gestational age neonatal population has been neglected. Recent studies have not only defined factors important in the transmission of CMV, but also led to the suggestion of serious morbidity related to postnatal acquisition. The burden of postnatal CMV disease and the risk–benefit of screening and prevention strategies are all still unclear.
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Competing interests: None.