Monitoring of cytomegalovirus infection and disease in bone marrow recipients by reverse transcription-PCR and comparison with PCR and blood and urine cultures
Journal of Clinical Microbiology
Preemptive therapy is a promising strategy for the prevention of serious cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease after bone marrow (BM) transplantation but requires relevant diagnostic tests. We compared the clinical value of a reverse transcription (RT)-PCR method, which detected a late viral mRNA in peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL), with a PCR method that detected the viral DNA in PBL and with viral culture from leukocytes and urine for the diagnosis of symptomatic CMV infection after BM
... n. Forty-five consecutive BM recipients were prospectively tested at weekly intervals by the four methods. CMV infection, demonstrated either by the culture of CMV or by repeated detection of viral DNA, was observed in 28 patients, but only 14 developed CMV-related clinical symptoms. The clinical sensitivity and specificity of each technique for detection of symptomatic infection were, respectively, 36 and 74% for urine culture, 43 and 84% for leukocyte culture, 100 and 65% for PCR, and 71 and 94% for RT-PCR. Although PCR detection of DNA in PBL was the earliest and most sensitive technique for the diagnosis of CMV infection, RT-PCR was more predictive of the onset of CMV-related clinical symptoms. These data suggest that both molecular methods should be used for identifying BM recipients at highest risk of CMV disease.