Ex vivo monitoring of human cytomegalovirus-specific CD8+ T-cell responses using QuantiFERON-CMV

Transpl Infect Dis. 2007 Jun;9(2):165-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3062.2006.00199.x.


We have developed a novel diagnostic technology to monitor the human cytomegalovirus (HCMV)-specific CD8+ T-cell responses that is based on the detection of secreted interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) in the whole blood (referred to as QuantiFERON -CMV). Evaluation of QuantiFERON -CMV in healthy individuals revealed that this technology was at least as sensitive and with some HCMV epitopes more sensitive than the ELISPOT for detecting ex vivo IFN-gamma. Results from QuantiFERON -CMV assays showed 97% (36/37 individuals) agreement with the anti-HCMV serology test in healthy individuals. Furthermore, we also show that this technology can be used to assess HCMV-specific T-cell responses in transplant patients. This study shows that QuantiFERON -CMV is a simple, reproducible, and reliable test for the detection of IFN-gamma in response to HCMV CD8+ T-cell epitopes, and may be a valuable diagnostic test for the detection of HCMV infection and a useful clinical tool for monitoring the immune response in immunosuppressed patients during therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Cytomegalovirus / immunology*
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / blood*
  • Middle Aged


  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte
  • Interferon-gamma