Sensitive and reliable diagnostic tests are essential for the prevention of cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). pp65 antigenemia and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays are commonly used to monitor CMV in HSCT recipients. However, there is considerable intra- and inter-laboratory variability in the results, which impact comparability and clinical practice. OBJECTIVES/STUDY DESIGN: Using 380 samples from 135 HSCT recipients, we compared the new FDA approved quantitative PCR assay, COBAS(®) AmpliPrep/COBAS(®) TaqMan(®) CMV test (CAP/CTM CMV test) developed and standardized using the 1st WHO International Standard for CMV with pp65 antigenemia and COBAS(®) AMPLICOR MONITOR CMV tests.The median time between transplantation and testing samples was 57 days (range, 0-207 days). The median CMV load (log(10)) was 3.17 IU/mL (3.21 copies/mL). Among samples with detectable CMV load, 52% were negative by pp65 antigenemia. CMV loads were higher in pp65 antigenemia-positive than in negative samples. One pp65-antigenemia-positive cell per 100,000 leukocytes corresponded to a median CMV load of 1200 IU/mL. CMV loads determined by the CAP/CTM CMV test were slightly lower than the ones by the AMPLICOR MONITOR CMV test (-0.15 [95% CI, -0.18 to -0.13] copies/mL), but slope differences indicated only limited co-linearity.The CAP/CTM CMV test is more sensitive than pp65 antigenemia and the AMPLICOR MONITOR CMV test in HSCT recipients. The lower limit of quantification and co-linearity with the international WHO standard renders the CAP/CTM CMV test suitable for future clinical trials defining viral load thresholds of CMV therapy.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jcv.2012.10.001
View details for Web of Science ID 000313565100004
View details for PubMedID 23146665