Detection of immediate early, early and late antigens of human cytomegalovirus by flow cytometry

J Virol Methods. 1989 Dec;26(3):247-54. doi: 10.1016/0166-0934(89)90107-9.


The development of selective inhibitors of human cytomegalovirus (CMV) should lead to a better understanding of the mode of replication of CMV. A flow cytometric method was developed to monitor the expression of CMV antigens in CMV-infected human embryonic lung fibroblasts. The procedure is based on an indirect immunofluorescence assay using monoclonal antibodies directed against CMV-specific (immediate early, early, late) antigens and goat anti-murine IgG labeled with fluorescein isothiocyanate. Flow cytometric analysis clearly distinguished between the uninfected and infected cell population. There was a time-dependent appearance of CMV-specific antigens and a close correlation between the multiplicity of infection and the ratio of infected to uninfected cells. The method allows an accurate determination of the percentage of CMV-infected cells in the whole cell population and of the time of appearance of the viral antigens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Viral / analysis*
  • Cell Line
  • Cytomegalovirus / immunology*
  • Cytomegalovirus / physiology
  • Fibroblasts
  • Flow Cytometry*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Immediate-Early Proteins*
  • Time Factors


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antigens, Viral
  • Immediate-Early Proteins
  • immediate-early proteins, cytomegalovirus