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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 112  |  Page : 1--6

Cytomegalovirus Seropositivity as a Potential Risk Factor for Increased Noise Trauma Susceptibility

Department of Otolaryngology at UKB, University of Berlin, Charité Medical School, Berlin, Germany

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Moritz Groschel
Department of Otolaryngology, Unfallkrankenhaus Berlin, Warener Str 7, 12683 Berlin
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/nah.nah_4_21

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Context: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) represents the leading congenital viral infection in humans. Although congenital CMV due to vertically transmitted infections is the main cause of CMV-related diseases, adult CMV infections might still be of clinical significance. It is still discussed how far CMV seropositivity, due to horizontal infection in immunocompetent adults, is able to induce significant dysfunction. The present study investigates in how far CMV seropositivity is an additional risk factor for an increasing susceptibility to sensorineural hearing loss induced by acoustic injury during adulthood in a guinea pig CMV (GPCMV) model of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). Methods: Two groups (GPCMV seropositive vs. seronegative) of normal hearing adult guinea pigs were exposed to a broadband noise (5–20 kHz) for 2 hours at 115 dB sound pressure level. Frequency-specific auditory brainstem response recordings for determination of auditory threshold shift were carried out and the number of missing outer hair cells was counted 2 weeks after the noise exposure. Results: The data show a slightly increased shift in auditory thresholds in seropositive animals compared to the seronegative control group in response to noise trauma. However, the observed difference was significant at least at high frequencies. The differences in threshold shift are not correlated with outer hair cell loss between the experimental groups. Conclusion: The results point to potential additional pathologies in a guinea pig NIHL model in correlation to GPCMV seropositivity, which should be taken into account when assessing risks of latent/reactivated CMV infection. Due to the relatively slight effect in the present data, the aim of future studies should be a more detailed consideration (e.g., larger sample size) and to localize possible target structures as well as the significance of the infection route.


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