Urine and breast milk represent the main routes of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) transmission but the contribution of renal and mammary epithelial cells to viral excretion remains unclear. We observed that kidney and mammary epithelial cells were permissive to HCMV infection and expressed immediate early, early and late antigens within 72h of infection. During the first 24h after infection, high titers of infectious virus were measured associated to the cells and in culture supernatants, independently of de novo synthesis of virus progeny. This phenomenon was not observed in HCMV-infected fibroblasts and suggested the sequestration and the release of HCMV by epithelial cells. This hypothesis was supported by confocal and electron microscopy analyses. The sequestration and progressive release of HCMV by kidney and mammary epithelial cells may play an important role in the excretion of the virus in urine and breast milk and may thereby contribute to HCMV transmission.