Several cytomegalovirus (CMV) vaccine candidates are under development. To reduce the burden of congenital CMV infection, potential strategies under consideration include vaccination of adult women, adolescent girls, and/or young children (both sexes).
We reviewed 5 studies that used infectious disease modeling to assess the potential impact of vaccination for preventing congenital CMV infection. All models assumed CMV vaccination would prevent primary infection and 2 models also assumed prevention of reinfections and reactivations.
Despite differences in structure, assumptions, and population data, infant vaccination (both sexes) was the optimal strategy in all models, but in 1 model vaccinating seronegative women at 19-21 years of age was also optimal (for duration of vaccine protection ≥8 years). In 3 models, infant vaccination increased average age at primary infection as a result of decreased secondary transmission (herd immunity) combined with waning vaccine-induced immunity. This effect could increase the risk of congenital CMV infections in populations where primary CMV infection occurs early in childhood but could be minimized by administering a second dose of vaccine during adolescence.
Understanding vaccine efficacy and duration of immunity, and how these might vary depending on CMV serostatus and age at vaccination, will be key to defining CMV vaccination strategies.

Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America 2020.