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J Clin Microbiol. 2000 Jun;38(6):2122-7.

Comparison of quantitative cytomegalovirus (CMV) PCR in plasma and CMV antigenemia assay: clinical utility of the prototype AMPLICOR CMV MONITOR test in transplant recipients.

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  • 1Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


The correlation between the prototype AMPLICOR CMV MONITOR test (Roche Molecular Systems), a quantitative PCR assay, and the cytomegalovirus (CMV) pp65 antigenemia assay was evaluated in transplant recipients. Sequential blood specimens were collected on 29 patients (491 specimens), the leukocyte fraction was tested by CMV antigenemia, and quantitative PCR was performed on plasma specimens. None of the 15 patients (242 specimens) who were antigenemia negative were positive for CMV DNA by PCR, and none of these patients developed active CMV disease. There were 14 antigenemia-positive patients, 8 of whom developed active CMV disease. In all patients, there was a good association between the antigenemia and PCR assays. Ganciclovir-resistant virus was isolated from three patients with active CMV disease. These three patients had persistently elevated levels of antigenemia and CMV DNA by PCR when resistance to ganciclovir developed. This standardized, quantitative CMV PCR assay on plasma has clinical utility for the diagnosis of active disease and in monitoring the response to antiviral therapy in transplant recipients.

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