Human CMV-specific T-cell responses in kidney transplantation; toward changing current risk-stratification paradigm

Transpl Int. 2014 Jul;27(7):643-56. doi: 10.1111/tri.12318. Epub 2014 Apr 12.


Despite the great efficacy of current antiviral preventive strategies, hCMV infection is still a major complication after renal transplantation, significantly challenging patient and graft survival. This issue seems to be explained because of the rather poor immunologic monitoring of the antiviral immune response. An important body of evidence has shown that monitoring the hCMV-specific T-cell response, at different time points of the transplant setting, seems to add crucial information for predicting the risk of viral infection, thus potentially helping individualization of therapeutic decision-making in clinical transplantation. While several immune-cellular assays have shown its capability for accurately monitoring hCMV-specific T-cell responses, only few such as the IFN-γ ELISPOT and the ELISA based technology assays might be reliable for its application in the clinic. Nonetheless, an important effort has to be made among the transplant community to standardize and validate such immune assays. Noteworthy, large-scale prospective randomized trials are highly warranted to ultimately introduce them in current clinical practice as a part of the highly desired personalized medicine.

Keywords: T-cell immune response; human cytomegalovirus; immune-monitoring; immunosuppression; kidney transplantation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cytomegalovirus / immunology*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunospot Assay
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular / immunology
  • Immunity, Humoral / immunology
  • Immunocompromised Host / immunology
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Risk
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Transplantation Immunology*


  • Immunosuppressive Agents