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J Clin Virol. 2010 Aug;48(4):255-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2010.05.004. Epub 2010 Jun 18.

Comparative evaluation of eight commercial human cytomegalovirus IgG avidity assays.

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SC Ostetricia e Ginecologia, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy.



The interpretation of a positive IgM antibody result to human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) in a pregnant woman is of major importance for the correct management of the pregnancy. Determination of HCMV-specific IgG avidity is considered an useful approach for distinguishing IgM antibody due to primary HCMV infection from IgM antibody elicited during non-primary infection.


Comparative evaluation of eight commercial HCMV IgG avidity assays currently available in Europe.


A panel of 198 sequential samples collected from 65 pregnant women at 0-90, 91-180, and >180 days after the onset of primary HCMV infection was retrospectively tested by Abbott, BioMérieux, Bio-Rad, DiaSorin, Diesse, Euroimmun, Radim, and Technogenetics HCMV IgG avidity assays according to the manufacturer's instructions.


None of the 198 samples tested yielded identical scores by the kits under evaluation. The Euroimmun and Radim assays showed the best correlation with expected results in terms of low (0-90 days), intermediate (90-180 days) and high (>180 days) avidity results, respectively. The best accuracy in diagnosing a recent (<90 days after the onset) or non-recent (>180 days after the onset) primary HCMV infection was shown by Radim followed by Euroimmun and Diesse. The best correlation with a well established in-house developed HCMV IgG avidity assay was shown by Radim.


HCMV IgG avidity kits need to be improved and standardized. In the meantime, highly specific IgM assays are preferable for screening purposes in pregnant women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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