A User's Guide to the Indirect Solid-Phase Radioimmunoassay for the Detection of Cytomegalovirus-Specific IgM Antibodies

J Virol Methods. 1984 Jul;8(4):271-82. doi: 10.1016/0166-0934(84)90064-8.


In this review full laboratory details are given of a solid-phase indirect radioimmunoassay for the detection of specific IgM antibodies against cytomegalovirus. Practical advice is given on readily available commercial sources of reagents, a simple iodination procedure, the rapid dilution of sera under test and calculation of the results with a computer program available from the authors. Problems encountered with the assay are also detailed such as interference by rheumatoid factor, deterioration of the radiolabel and high background binding found with some sera. If these problems are avoided by the methods given in the text then the radioimmunoassay has been shown to give results of 100% specificity with 89% sensitivity for detecting congenital infection and 92% sensitivity for identifying primary cytomegalovirus infection in pregnant women.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Viral / analysis*
  • Cytomegalovirus / immunology*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / congenital
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / diagnosis
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Fetal Blood / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin M / analysis*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Iodine Radioisotopes
  • Radioimmunoassay / methods*


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Iodine Radioisotopes