Product(s) used in this publication: PepMix™ Peptide Pools
Although cytomegalovirus (CMV) specific cell-mediated immunity (CMI) has been suggested as a predictive marker for CMV infection, proper CMI monitoring strategy in CMV-seropositive recipients and optimal method are not defined. The aim of this study was to evaluate two interferon gamma release assays during early post-transplant period as a predictor of the development of CMV infection in CMV-seropositive patients. A total of 124 CMV-seropositive recipients who received kidney transplantation from CMV-seropositive donor were prospectively examined. At pre-transplant and post-transplant 1 and 3 months, CMV-CMIs were tested using QuantiFERON-CMV assay (QF-CMV) and CMV specific T cell ELISPOT against CMV pp65 and IE-1 antigens (pp65-ELISPOT, IE-1-ELISPOT). CMV DNAemia occurred in 16 (12.9%) patients within 3 months after transplant. Post-transplant pp65 or IE-1 ELISPOT response, but not QF-CMV, was significantly associated with CMV DNAemia. The pp65 ELISPOT (cut-off; 30 spots/200,000 cells) and IE-1 ELISPOT (10 spots/200,000 cells) at post-transplant 1 month predicted the risk of post-transplant CMV DNAemia (P = 0.019). Negative predictive values (NPV) for protection from CMV DNAemia in case of positive ELISPOT results were 94.5% (95% CI: 86.9-97.8%) and 97.6% (95% CI: 86.3-99.6%) in pp65-ELISPOT and IE-1-ELISPOT assays, respectively. These results suggest that the variability may exist between CMV ELISPOT assays and QF-CMV, and CMV ELISPOT at post-transplant 1 month can identify the risk of CMV DNAemia in seropositive kidney transplant recipients.