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Br J Haematol. 2005 Nov;131(4):472-9.

Evaluation of cytomegalovirus-specific T-cell reconstitution in patients after various allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation using interferon-gamma-enzyme-linked immunospot and human leucocyte antigen tetramer assays with an immunodominant T-cell epitope.

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Division of Cellular Signaling, Institute for Advanced Medical Research, Keio University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is a major complication for patients who received allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Accurate monitoring of CMV-specific T-cell reconstitution is required for appropriate decision on treatment, such as anti-viral drugs, which have adverse effects. Although human leucocyte antigen (HLA) tetramer and interferon-gamma-enzyme-linked immunospot (IFN-gamma-ELISPOT) assays have been used to measure CMV-specific T cells, detailed comparison of these assays and kinetics of anti-CMV T-cell reconstitution between reduced-intensity transplantation (RIST) and conventional HSCT has not yet been performed. In this study, we performed prospective comparative monitoring of CMV-specific T cells using HLA tetramer and IFN-gamma-ELISPOT assays with a single immunodominant CMV(495) peptide in 28 HLA-A*0201 and 9 HLA-A*0206 patients after various allogeneic HSCTs. The IFN-gamma-ELISPOT assay was more sensitive for evaluation of functional T cells than the HLA tetramer assay, and CMV-specific T cells were reconstituted earlier in patients who received RIST without anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG) than those receiving RIST with ATG or conventional HSCT. The threshold level for protection from CMV reactivation was estimated as over 1 x 10(6) cells/l peripheral blood with the IFN-gamma-ELISPOT assay. These results demonstrate that the IFN-gamma-ELISPOT assay with CMV(495) provides more accurate evaluation on CMV immunity in HLA-A*0201 and -A*0206 patients, and may be useful for determining timing of various treatments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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