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HearS-cCMV project

Research project

The HearS-cCMV project team is working with the Victorian Infant Hearing Screening Program (VIHSP) to provide additional services to Victorian families. This project involves an extra test for babies who do not pass their second hearing screen who are born at selected Victorian hospitals:

  • The Royal Women’s Hospital, Parkville
  • The Mercy Hospital for Women, Heidelberg
  • The Monash Medical Centre, Clayton
  • Sunshine Hospital, Western Health, Sunshine

Video instructions for taking a saliva swab

This extra test uses a sample of the baby’s mouth saliva (spit) to see if there was a virus (germ) called cytomegalovirus (CMV) present at the time of their birth. If the virus is present from birth it is called congenital CMV. For a very small number of babies, congenital CMV can be the cause of life-long hearing loss.  For some of these babies, there may be a treatment available if the doctors know this virus is present early enough. Therefore, it is very important to know as soon as possible if this virus is there.

At the moment, this saliva test is not routinely offered early enough for an accurate diagnosis to be made. This project ensures your baby is given a chance to receive this simple test, and will help to gather information about how this can best be done. This will help us work out the best way of offering CMV testing across the whole state to babies who do not pass their second hearing screening.