Human cytomegalovirus immediate early and late transcripts are expressed in all major leukocyte populations in vivo

J Infect Dis. 1995 Aug;172(2):365-70. doi: 10.1093/infdis/172.2.365.


Leukocyte populations were purified by fluorescence-activated cell sorter and analyzed for human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) DNA and mRNA using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and cDNA PCR, respectively. Twenty-two blood samples from 17 patients with active HCMV infection were studied. HCMV DNA was detected most frequently in granulocytes and monocytes but was also found in CD4+, CD8+, and CD19+ lymphocytes. Viral immediate early and late mRNA was found in ficoll-enriched mononuclear cells and polymorphonuclear leukocytes. In 11 samples from 9 patients with active HCMV infection, immediate early mRNA was detected in 8 lymphocyte, 6 monocyte, and 8 granulocyte fractions. Late mRNA was detected in 7 lymphocyte, 7 monocyte, and 9 granulocyte fractions. The presence of viral late mRNA provides strong evidence for infection of these leukocyte populations with HCMV in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Separation
  • Cytomegalovirus / genetics*
  • Cytomegalovirus / isolation & purification
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / genetics*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / virology
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Granulocytes / virology
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / virology*
  • Lymphocyte Subsets / virology
  • Lymphocytes / virology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Monocytes / virology
  • Neutrophils / virology
  • Phosphoproteins / blood
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis*
  • RNA, Viral / analysis
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Viral Matrix Proteins / blood


  • DNA, Viral
  • Phosphoproteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Viral
  • Viral Matrix Proteins
  • cytomegalovirus matrix protein 65kDa