Background: The Argene Biosoft 1C3 and the Biotest C10,C11 monoclonal antibodies are two of the most commonly used commercially available antibody reagents for the cytomegalovirus (CMV) pp65 antigenemia assay.
Objectives: The sensitivities of these two reagents were compared in peripheral blood specimens received for CMV antigenemia testing.
Study design: A total of 1149 peripheral blood specimens were processed for CMV antigenemia testing. Duplicate slides were stained with the Biosoft 1C3 and Biotest C10,C11 monoclonal antibodies.
Results: A total of 158 specimens gave a positive result by one or both antibodies. One hundred and forty five were positive by the Biosoft antibody and 130 were positive by the Biotest antibody. Positive cell counts were significantly higher on cell preparations stained by the Biosoft antibody (Wilcoxon signed rank, P < 0.001) and the Biosoft antibody detected twice as many low-level positive specimens as the Biotest.
Conclusions: The Biosoft antibody reagent was superior to the Biotest reagent for the detection of CMV antigenemia. This is an important factor since early detection is essential for appropriate initiation of preemptive antiviral therapy, particularly in transplant recipients at high risk of CMV disease.