Background: Real-time monitoring of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections in transplant patients demands a rapid and high-throughput CMV DNA quantification method.
Methods: TaqMan polymerase chain reaction assays based on CMV immediate early protein exon 4 and glycoprotein B were developed and were compared with a COBAS AMPLICOR CMV MONITOR (CMM) test for quantifying CMV DNA in peripheral blood leukocytes from seven stem cell transplant patients having received antiviral treatment.
Results: There was a good correlation between the TaqMan assays and the CMM test for CMV DNA quantification. The throughput of the TaqMan assays was, however, about 3 times higher than that of the CMM test. The CMV DNA dynamics patterns determined by the TaqMan polymerase chain reaction were well in line with the outcome of the antiviral therapy.
Conclusions: The TaqMan assays may potentially serve as a useful tool for rapid quantification of CMV infections in stem cell transplant patients.