Celebrating Immunization: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) vaccine


April 22nd - 29th, 2017
The VEC is celebrating National Immunization Awareness Week by sharing five of our chosen immunization stories about our research. Take a look at all five stories here or by heading to our homepage.

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common virus that can cause severe disease in people with weakened immune systems, and is one of the most common causes of birth defects in Canada and worldwide. When a baby is infected with CMV before birth (congenital infection), it often results in permanent hearing loss and intellectual disabilities.

There is currently no way to prevent congenital CMV infection, and a vaccine is urgently needed. About 1 out of every 1000 babies born in Canada are permanently harmed by congenital CMV infection.

VEC researchers are conducting a clinical trial with a new CMV vaccine being given to humans for the first time (a Phase I clinical trial). During a Phase I clinical trial, new vaccines are first tested in healthy adults. If they are found to be safe and found to generate a response in the body’s immune system, then they might be tested in young children, pregnant women, or other vulnerable groups. The results of this study will be essential for developing a vaccine to prevent disease from CMV around the world.