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Viral Immunol. 2004;17(1):101-8.

Avidity of antibodies to cytomegalovirus in HIV-seropositive patients with and without CMV retinitis.

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Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Virginia Campus, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA.


Antibodies of high avidity may protect the fetus from CMV infection, but the association of avidity with other CMV infections is unknown. To determine if anti-CMV antibody avidity is altered in HIV-seropositive patients, either untreated or treated with HAART, and to determine if alterations in avidity are associated with CMV retinitis, we obtained sera from 164 CMV-seropositive adults: 68 were HIV-seronegative healthy adults and 96 were HIV seropositive. Of the HIV-positive, 57 had no current or prior evidence of CMV retinitis (29 were being treated with HAART, and 28 were receiving no therapy when sampled), and 39 had either active CMV retinitis or were immunorestored by HAART with quiescent CMV retinitis. IgG antibody avidity was determined for each serum run in duplicate using an EIA assay and 5M urea as a dissociating agent. After correction for the significantly higher levels of IgG antibodies to CMV in the HIV-seropositive sera as compared to the normal healthy individuals, both HIV-infected and HIV-uninfected individuals had nearly identical average avidity indices (avidity index = 76). There was also no significant difference in average avidity index between HAART-treated and untreated patients, or between patients with active and immunorestored, quiescent CMV retinitis). These results indicate antibody avidity is unaltered in HIV disease and does not play an important role in the pathogenesis of AIDS-related CMV disease.

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