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Searching for antibodies specific for human cytomegalovirus: is it diagnostically useful? When and how.

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Institute of Microbiology, University of Bologna, Italy.


Diagnosis of human cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection can be obtained by direct demonstration of the virus or virus components in pathological materials or indirectly through serology. Serological diagnosis gives only indirect evidence of the presence of the virus, and is problematic because of the immunological disorders occurring in most patients at risk of developing a CMV infection. Furthermore, antigenic reagents used in commercially available kits are not standardized and discordant results are often obtained. However, serology is cheaper than the other diagnostic tests, requires a short execution time, is safe and can be completely automated. Therefore, it is worthwhile exploring the possible application fields in which the use of serology is justified nowadays. This is what this review will attempt to do.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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