PCR activity of CMV in healthy CMV-seropositive individuals: does latency need redefinition?

Res Virol. Jul-Aug 1996;147(4):233-8. doi: 10.1016/0923-2516(96)89654-3.


To demonstrate a possible association between stress factors and the presence of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) DNA in leukocytes and in cell-free body fluids, at 2-week intervals over a 6-month period, specimens were taken for HCMV DNA testing from 11 healthy CMV-seropositive individuals who were also surveyed for stress-producing events occurring during the previous week. A positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) signal was given in 104/127 (81.9%) urines, 73/127 (57.3%) throat washings and 68/127 (53.6%) leukocyte samples. An association was found between HCMV DNA in urine and a stress-producing event at work (p < 0.04). An association was also found between detection of HCMV DNA in throat washings and alcohol ingestion (P < 0.006) and between the presence of oral herpes lesions and the detection of HCMV DNA in leukocytes (p < 0.0019). The results suggest that viral reactivation is more common than previously thought and that stress may be a triggering event.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cytomegalovirus / genetics
  • Cytomegalovirus / isolation & purification*
  • Cytomegalovirus / physiology
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / pathology
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / psychology
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / virology*
  • DNA, Viral / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Stress, Physiological*
  • Virus Latency
  • Volunteers


  • DNA, Viral