Cytomegalovirus (CMV) DNA load predicts relapsing CMV infection after solid organ transplantation

Irene G. Sia, Jennie A. Wilson, Cynthia M. Groettum, Mark J. Espy, Thomas F. Smith, Carlos V. Paya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

174 Scopus citations


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) DNA load was analyzed as a marker for relapse of CMV infection in 24 solid organ transplant patients with CMV infection or disease who received a fixed 14-day course of intravenous ganciclovir. Viral load was measured in blood samples obtained before and at the completion of treatment. Eight (33%) of 24 patients developed relapsing CMV infection. Median pretreatment viral loads were higher in the relapsing group (80,150 copies/106 leukocytes) than in the nonrelapsing group (5500 copies/106 leukocytes; P = .007). The relapsing group also had persistent detectable viral DNA (median, 5810 copies/106 leukocytes) after treatment, whereas it was undetectable in the nonrelapsing group (P < .0001). Primary CMV infection (seronegative recipients of seropositive organs, D+R-) was an independent marker for CMV relapse (P = .03), and these patients had higher pre- and posttreatment viral loads than did non-D+/R- patients (P< .0001 and P = .0014, respectively). CMV DNA load is a useful marker for individualizing antiviral treatment of CMV infection in solid organ transplant recipients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-720
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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