- Last Update On : 2013-01-09
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections are a major cause of illness and death in immunocompromised adults and congenitally infected infants. The availability of specific antiviral therapy for CMV has increased the need for rapid diagnostic tests. Although the virus can be isolated from a variety of sources, CMV viremia correlates best with clinically significant CMV disease. However, detection of CMV viremia by standard culture techniques requires 3-10 days.
Several studies have evaluated detection of CMV using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques. The detection threshold of PCR for CMV ranges from 60 copies of DNA per 100,000 cells to one infected cell per million. The Roche Amplicor method for quantitative CMV detection by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which uses plasma samples, is more specific for CMV disease than previous PCR methods that used whole blood samples.
Specimen requirement is one 5 mL lavender top (EDTA) tube of blood, 5 mL of spinal fluid, or 5 mL of a random urine collection in a urine specimen cup.