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J Infect Dis. 1987 Mar;155(3):501-9.

Quantitation of human cytomegalovirus DNA in lungs from bone marrow transplant recipients with interstitial pneumonia.


DNA-DNA hybridization was compared with culture for virus and histopathology for the detection and quantitation of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) in lungs from bone marrow transplant recipients. The hybridization assay detected 100 pg of HCMV DNA or greater than 520 plaque-forming unit equivalents. Compared with culture for virus, the hybridization assay had a sensitivity of 90.6% and a specificity of 77.8%. The quantity of HCMV DNA and the infectivity titer were directly correlated. Quantitation of HCMV DNA by hybridization was more reproducible than were infectivity titers for frozen specimens. Histopathologic examination of lung specimens detected HCMV inclusions in 60% (15 of 25) of patients with HCMV-associated interstitial pneumonia, whereas hybridization results were positive for 96% (24 of 25) of these patients. A significant inverse correlation was demonstrated between quantitative values for HCMV DNA and the duration of pneumonia.

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