The aim of this retrospective study, with prospective data collection, was to correlate congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and to define its prevalence. Seventy proven congenitally-infected infants, born between 2007 and 2012, were referred to our centre for CMV diagnosis and follow-up, which consisted of a consolidated protocol allowing an early evaluation of autism. We considered four children 2-year old, two of whom, at the age of 3, were diagnosed with ASD demonstrating a 2-3 fold higher prevalence (2.86%), than that in general Italian population (0.66-1.36%).Our protocol enabled us to make the earliest diagnosis and highlight the role of the virus among other causes of autism, which may be a long term sequela of congenital CMV.
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