More effective, less toxic treatments for congenital CMV may also be on the horizon. Dr. Choo is working on developing antiviral eardrops to treat CMV-related SNHL. “We’ve shown intratympanic antiviral therapy to be effective in guinea pig models,” he said. “Proof of principle is there.”
Explore This IssueJuly 2014
The search for a safe, effective CMV vaccine also continues. “I think in the not-too-distant future, probably in the next decade, we’ll be seeing some vaccines approach licensure,” Dr. Schleiss said. “But, at the end of the day, even if we have a vaccine that’s licensed, it’s not the end of the story. CMV is a tricky virus.”
While the research continues, early consideration of congenital CMV as a possible etiology of SNHL may help decrease the incidence of SNHL and improve lives. “If you have a child with mild hearing loss and can identify and treat this child early, you may be able to prevent them from developing progressive loss,” Dr. Park said.
Jennifer L.W. Fink is a freelance medical writer based in Wisconsin.