A simplified method for detecting cytomegalovirus by polymerase chain reaction from histologic sections of small biopsies

Mod Pathol. 1992 Jul;5(4):449-54.


Using a simplified procedure, we have extracted DNA from unstained paraffin sections of needle biopsies of kidney and liver transplants and identified the presence of CMV using the polymerase chain reaction. This method utilizes oligonucleotide primers for two genes shown to be specific for cytomegalovirus (CMV) as well as an internal control gene (hemoglobin) in a single reaction. Utilizing nested PCR amplification with agarose gel electrophoresis, CMV can be detected without radioisotopes to a level of sensitivity equivalent to one one-hundredth of a cytomegalic virocyte per cm2 of a 3-microM paraffin section. This method is applicable to situations where only scarce paraffin-embedded tissue is available.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Biopsy
  • Cytomegalovirus / genetics
  • Cytomegalovirus / isolation & purification*
  • DNA, Viral / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Kidney / microbiology
  • Liver / microbiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • DNA, Viral