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J Infect Dis. 1998 Feb;177(2):355-60.

Comparative evaluation of the cytomegalovirus DNA load in polymorphonuclear leukocytes and plasma of human immunodeficiency virus-infected subjects.

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Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec Research Center in Infectious Diseases and Department of Microbiology, Université Laval, Canada.


The cytomegalovirus (CMV) DNA load was determined in polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNL) and plasma samples from 106 human immunodeficiency virus-infected subjects at risk of developing CMV disease (group 1) and from 27 AIDS patients with documented CMV disease (group 2). For both groups, the number of CMV copies in PMNL was significantly higher than in plasma when results were derived from an equivalent blood volume (P < .001, PMNL vs. plasma). Additionally, group 2 (symptomatic) patients had a greater viral DNA load than group 1 (asymptomatic) subjects (P < .001 for both PMNL and plasma). The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of qualitative polymerase chain reaction using PMNL (PCR-PMNL) for the presence of CMV disease were 100%, 58%, 38%, and 100%, respectively, compared with 70%, 93%, 74%, and 92% for qualitative PCR-plasma and 93%, 92%, 76%, and 98% for quantitative PCR-PMNL using a cutoff of 16,000 copies/mL. Thus, the best strategy for diagnosing CMV disease in these individuals relies on quantitative assessment of the viral DNA load in PMNL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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