Killing of human cytomegalovirus-infected fibroblasts by antiviral antibody and complement

J M Middeldorp, J Jongsma, T H The

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Complement-dependent cytolytic antibodies (CyAb) to cytomegalovirus (CMV)-infected fibroblasts were detectable in acute- and convalescent-phase sera from renal allograft recipients (n = 44) and nonimmunocompromised patients (n = 14) with symptomatic CMV infection but not in sera from control donors (n = 75; P less than .001 by Wilcoxon rank sum test). Renal allograft recipients with secondary CMV infection had the highest levels of CyAb activity. Activity closely correlated with the serum antibody titer to CMV membrane antigens (r = .9106 by linear regression analysis) and was present in both the IgM and IgG fractions of human sera. IgG F(ab)2 fragments were inactive, thus implicating the classical pathway of complement activation. Maximal CMV-specific lysis was obtained with target cells expressing CMV late membrane antigens (greater than or equal to 72 hr after inoculation) irrespective of the CMV strain used. Adsorption and cold target inhibition studies indicated that the target antigens for the CyAb response are specific for the plasma membrane of CMV-infected cells and may only partly be shared by the virion envelope.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-55
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1986

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