Evaluation of a new method for early detection of active cytomegalovirus infections. A study in kidney transplant recipients

M J Blok, M H Christiaans, V J Goossens, J P van Hooff, B Top, J M Middeldorp, C A Bruggeman

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Early detection of active cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection after organ transplantation is necessary to start effective antiviral treatment. In the present study, blood specimens of kidney transplant recipients (n = 38) were monitored for the expression of CMV immediate early (IE) and late (L) mRNA using nucleic acid sequence-based amplification (NASBA). Results were compared with virus isolation, pp65 antigenemia and serology. In patients developing active CMV infection, pp65 antigen and L mRNA were detected simultaneously. At the same time, positive cell culture results could be reported to the clinic. CMV was detected significantly earlier with IE NASBA than with the other assays. However, the specificity of IE NASBA is lower than that of antigenemia, late NASBA and cell culture. Early detection of IE mRNA is especially useful for patients at high risk of developing symptomatic CMV infection in order that early, adequate antiviral therapy may be started. Late NASBA can be used to monitor further development of CMV infection, comparable to antigenemia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S107-9
JournalTransplant International
Volume11 Suppl 1
Publication statusPublished - 1998

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