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Rivista di Biologia Molecolare e Biotecnologie

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Minerva Biotecnologica 2011 June-September;23(2-3):33-8

lingua: Inglese

Comparison of three real-time PCR assays for human cytomegalovirus quantification in whole blood specimens

Gambarino S., Bergallo M., Sidoti F., Terlizzi M. E., Astegiano S., Lorusso M., Mantovani S., Cavallo R.

Virology Unit, University-Hospital San Giovanni Battista di Torino, Turin, Italy


Aim. Monitoring of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) replication by evaluation of HCMV DNAemia is fundamental in the clinical management of patients at risk of viral reactivation, such as transplant recipients. Herein, three real-time PCR assays for HCMV, including two commercially available and one home–made assay, were evaluated.
Methods. Eighty nine whole blood specimens from transplant and non-transplant patients were tested for HCMV DNAemia by using the three procedures and compared in terms of technical features (including sensitivity, intra- and inter-assay variability, and efficiency).
Results. Concordant results were found in 60 cases; 29 specimens displayed discordant results, although viral load was close to the sensitivity limit low in most of the cases. No significant difference was found in terms of quantitative analysis.
Conclusions. Overall, the three methods showed a good performance in detecting HCMV in blood samples. The high number of discordant results between the different methods seemed to be due to the low viral load. The three assays were comparable in terms of potential impact of HCMV quantification in blood samples in relation to clinical management of patients at risk of HCMV reactivation.

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