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J Clin Virol. 2007 Feb;38(2):112-9. Epub 2007 Jan 3.

Effect of serum and CTL on focal growth of human cytomegalovirus.

Author information

1
Institute of Medical Virology, University of Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany. christian.sinzger@med.uni-tuebingen.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In immunocompromised patients only cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTL) but not antiviral antibodies appear to be efficient in control of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection. This is contrasted by the well-documented neutralising activity of patient sera against standard HCMV strains.

OBJECTIVE:

We tested the hypothesis that a cell-culture model based on a recent clinical HCMV isolate would more accurately approximate the clinical situation and provide an explanation for the failure of neutralising antibodies in efficient restriction of HCMV infection.

METHODS:

Sera from five bone marrow transplant recipients with or without prolonged HCMV replication were analysed by an enzyme-linked immunoassay for their capacity to neutralise cell-free HCMV preparations. The inhibitory effect of these sera on viral cell-to-cell-spread was then quantified by focus expansion assays using a recent clinical HCMV-isolate and was finally compared to the inhibitory effect of HCMV-specific CTL lines.

RESULTS:

Prolonged HCMV replication occurred in three patients despite high titres of neutralising antibodies. In contrast to the strong inhibitory effect on cell-free HCMV, their sera could not inhibit the focal growth of a recent cell-associated HCMV isolate, whereas CTL clones directed against pUL123 or pUL83 of HCMV effectively limited focal expansion of the clinical isolate in fibroblast culture.

CONCLUSIONS:

Focus expansion assays based on a cell-associated clinical HCMV isolate provide a model for the in vivo effectiveness of virus-specific CTL and neutralising antibodies. Our data support the assumption that due to their strict cell-association clinical HCMV strains are withdrawn from neutralising antibodies.

PMID:
17204454
DOI:
10.1016/j.jcv.2006.11.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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