Assessing cytomegalovirus (CMV)-specific cell-mediated immunity (CMI) represents an appealing strategy for identifying transplant recipients at risk of infection. In this study, we compared two gamma interferon-releasing assays (IGRAs), Quantiferon-CMV and CMV enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISPOT), to determine the ability of each test to predict protective CMV-specific T-cell responses. Two hundred twenty-one Quantiferon-CMV and ELISPOT tests were conducted on 120 adult kidney transplant recipients (KTRs), including 100 CMV-seropositive transplant recipients (R+) and 20 CMV-seronegative transplant recipients of a CMV-positive donor (D+/R−). As a control cohort, 39 healthy adult subjects (including 33 CMV-seropositive and 6 CMV-seronegative subjects) were enrolled. CMV IgG serology was used as a reference for both tests. In the CMV-seropositive individuals, the ELISPOT and Quantiferon-CMV assays provided 46% concordance with the serology, 12% discordance, 18% disagreement between ELISPOT or Quantiferon-CMV and the serology, and 24% gray areas when one or both tests resulted in weak positives. None of the CMV-seronegative subjects showed detectable responses in the ELISPOT or the Quantiferon-CMV test. In transplant recipients, both the ELISPOT and Quantiferon-CMV assays positively correlated with each other and negatively correlated with CMV DNAemia in a significant way (P < 0.05). During the antiviral prophylaxis, all 20 D+/R− KTRs we examined displayed undetectable Quantiferon-CMV and ELISPOT results, and there was no evidence of CMV seroconversion. The receiving operator curve (ROC) statistical analysis revealed similar specificities and sensitivities in predicting detectable viremia (areas under the curve [AUC], 0.66 and 0.62 for Quantiferon-CMV and ELISPOT, respectively). ELISPOT and Quantiferon-CMV values of >150 spots/200,000 peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and >1 to 6 IU gamma interferon (IFN-γ) were associated with protection from CMV infection (odds ratios [OR], 5 and 8.75, respectively). In transplant recipients, the two tests displayed similar abilities for predicting CMV infection. Both the ELISPOT and Quantiferon-CMV assays require several ameliorations to avoid false-negative results.
Recent studies have shown that Cytomegalovirus (CMV) may be an emerging marker of immunosenescence. CMV can affect the immune system by directly infecting leukocytes and hematopoietic cells or by eliciting an expansion of oligoclonal CD8+ T cells/contraction of the naïve T cell compartment that may reduce the host’s ability to fight other pathogens. To investigate further CMV-associated changes in immunity, a study was conducted with 1,454 adults (ages 25–91) to determine the association between CMV and reactivation of another latent herpesvirus, Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), as indexed by antibody titers. Elevated antibody titers to latent HSV-1 were significantly associated with both CMV seropositivity and high CMV antibody levels. Evaluation by specific age groups (<45, 45–64, and 65+ years old) revealed that this association was detectable early in life (<45 years of age). Increases in HSV-1 antibodies by age occurred in CMV seropositive individuals but not CMV seronegative subjects. Within CMV seropositive subjects, increases in HSV-1 antibodies by age were only found in individuals with low CMV antibody levels as those with high CMV antibodies already exhibited elevated HSV-1 antibodies. These associations remained significant after accounting for body mass index, gender, and socioeconomic status. These results suggest that CMV can influence the immune response to another pathogen and support the concept that CMV may accelerate immunosenescence.
herpesvirus; Herpes simplex virus (HSV-1); Cytomegalovirus (CMV); aging; immunosenescence
A sensitive and reproducible enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is described for the detection of immunoglobulin M and antibodies with specifity for human cytomegalovirus (CMV) early (CMV-EA) and late (CMV-LA) antigens. The emphasis is on the production of high-quality CMV antigens, CMV-EA and CMV-LA separately, and conditions for their application in the ELISA. The induction of CMV-EA and -LA in infected cell extracts was studied in detail by using human sera with defined antibody specificity for CMV-EA and CMV-LA. This resulted in the development of a simple whole cell extraction procedure that provided a high yield of CMV antigens with reproducible antigen quality. The antigens were specific for the detection of anti-CMV antibodies. The influence of autoantibodies on the determination of CMV-specific antibodies was investigated. Parallel analysis of 322 human sera by indirect immunofluorescence and ELISA showed a high correlation between both assays (r = 0.9674 for CMV-EA and 0.9362 for CMV-LA). Antibody titers determined by ELISA were equal to (for CMV-EA) or slightly higher (for CMV-LA) that those determined by immunofluorescence but significantly higher (20- to 5,120-fold) than those determined by complement fixation. From 191 sera positive by ELISA (titer greater than or equal to 40) 4 (2.1%) were negative by immunofluorescence (titer less than 40), and from 61 ELISA-positive sera 12 (19.6%) were negative (titer less than 8) when tested by complement fixation. Consequently, ELISA for CMV may prove to be more reliable for the selection of CMV-seronegative blood donors than these other methods. The use of high-quality antigens allows more economic handling of large-scale serum determinations. Possibilities for further automation are discussed.
Inflammation increases with age and is associated with many chronic diseases that are prevalent among older adults. Persistent pathogens such as latent herpesviruses and chronic bacterial infections can act as a source of inflammation. Herpesviruses, including Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV), establish latent infections following primary infection and reactivate when the cellular immune system is compromised. EBV and CMV replication can induce proinflammatory cytokine production and thus could influence systemic inflammation. The present study addressed relationships among EBV and CMV antibody titers, and levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in a sample of 222 community dwelling older adults (meanage= 64.1 ± 14.1 years). Participants were divided into two groups based on whether they were EBV seropositive and CMV seronegative (EBV+CMV−), or EBV and CMV seropositive (EBV+CMV+). Among individuals who were EBV+CMV−, EBV antibody titers were not associated with either CRP or IL-6 levels. However, among those who were EBV+CMV+, higher EBV antibody titers were related to elevated levels of CRP and IL-6 in those individuals with higher CMV antibody titers; there was no relationship between EBV antibody titers and CRP or IL-6 levels in those participants with lower CMV antibody titers. These data suggest that the combination of latent EBV and CMV reactivation (indexed by antibody titers) may boost CRP and IL-6 production. Thus, reactivation of multiple herpesviruses may drive inflammation and could contribute to poorer health among older adults.
cytomegalovirus (CMV); Epstein-Barr virus (EBV); C-reactive protein (CRP); interleukin-6 (IL-6); aging; latent reactivation; immunosenescence
Systemic lupus erythematosus is characterized by production of autoantibodies to RNA or DNA–protein complexes such as small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs). A role of Epstein–Barr virus in the pathogenesis has been suggested. Similar to Epstein–Barr virus, cytomegalovirus (CMV) infects the majority of individuals at a young age and establishes latency with a potential for reactivation. Homology of CMV glycoprotein B (UL55) with the U1snRNP-70 kDa protein (U1–70 k) has been described; however, the role of CMV infection in production of anti-snRNPs is controversial. We investigated the association of CMV serology and autoantibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus.
Sixty-one Mexican patients with systemic lupus erythematosus were tested for CMV and Epstein–Barr virus serology (viral capsid antigen, IgG, IgM) and autoantibodies by immunoprecipitation and ELISA (IgG and IgM class, U1RNP/Sm, U1–70 k, P peptide, rheumatoid factor, dsDNA, β2-glycoprotein I).
IgG anti-CMV and IgM anti-CMV were positive in 95% (58/61) and 33% (20/61), respectively, and two cases were negative for both. Clinical manifestation and autoantibodies in the IgM anti-CMV(+) group (n = 20) versus the IgM anti-CMV(-)IgG (+) (n = 39) group were compared. Most (19/20) of the IgM anti-CMV(+) cases were IgG anti-CMV(+), consistent with reactivation or reinfection. IgM anti-CMV was unrelated to rheumatoid factor or IgM class autoantibodies and none was positive for IgM anti-Epstein–Barr virus–viral capsid antigen, indicating that this is not simply due to false positive results caused by rheumatoid factor or nonspecific binding by certain IgM. The IgM anti-CMV(+) group has significantly lower levels of IgG anti-U1RNP/Sm and IgG anti-U1–70 k (P = 0.0004 and P = 0.0046, respectively). This finding was also confirmed by immunoprecipitation. Among the IgM anti-CMV(-) subset, anti-Su was associated with anti-U1RNP and anti-Ro (P < 0.05). High levels of IgG anti-CMV were associated with production of lupus-related autoantibodies to RNA or DNA–protein complex (P = 0.0077).
Our findings suggest a potential role of CMV in regulation of autoantibodies to snRNPs and may provide a unique insight to understand the pathogenesis.
Human cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a ubiquitous deoxyribonucleic acid virus that commonly infects a majority of individuals at some time during their life. Although most of these CMV infections are asymptomatic, certain patient groups are at risk to develop serious illness. Understanding the epidemiology of this virus is a key element in the development of strategies for preventing CMV disease. However, a number of features of this virus complicate such understanding. Following infection, CMV can remain latent, with subsequent reactivation; the factors controlling latency and reactivation and those factors which determine whether a CMV infection will be symptomatic are unknown. CMV disease can be acquired by natural routes, including horizontal and vertical transmission. Due to the ubiquity of CMV, the delineation of CMV transmission by these natural routes is complicated by the myriad of possible sources. Moreover, concerns over the risk of CMV transmission to the seronegative pregnant female have been raised in relation to preventing CMV transmission. By using molecular biologic techniques, much knowledge has been gained regarding the transmission of CMV disease by natural routes; however, a number of questions remain unanswered. The transmission of CMV infection by natural routes is therefore reviewed and the issues are highlighted. Primary infection, reactivation, and reinfection are the types of active CMV infections that can occur in an immunocompromised patient. In addition to natural routes of infection, introduction of presumably latently infected organs and requirements for multiple blood transfusions increase potential exposure to CMV in the immunocompromised patient. Understanding the epidemiology of CMV infections in the immunocompromised patient is difficult and in some instances controversial due to the complexity and interdependency of a number of factors which lead to CMV infection. In an immunocompromised individual, a major risk factor in developing overt CMV-related disease is associated with the serological status of an organ donor, the recipient, and the blood product given to these patients. In addition, a large body of inferential data supports the transmission of CMV by blood products or organs from seropositive donors; however, the mechanisms by which transmission occurs remain unclear. The possible sources and mechanisms of transmission of CMV infections in the immunocompromised host are reviewed. Lastly, strategies for the ultimate prevention of CMV disease are discussed in light of the epidemiology of CMV infections. To date, these strategies have included use of CMV-seronegative blood products or organs, antiviral agents, and vaccines.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
Disseminated cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is a frequent occurrence in human immunodeficiency virus-infected humans and in simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected rhesus macaques. Rhesus macaques are a suitable animal model with which to study in vivo interactions between CMV and AIDS-associated retroviruses. Since cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) play a major role in control of viral infections, we have characterized CMV-specific CTL responses in SIV-infected and uninfected rhesus macaques. Autologous fibroblasts infected with rhesus CMV were used to stimulate freshly isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells from CMV-seropositive animals. Following in vitro stimulation, specific CTL activity against CMV-infected autologous fibroblasts was detected in CMV-seropositive but not in CMV-seronegative normal macaques. CMV-specific CTL activity comparable to that in normal animals was also detected in two CMV-seropositive macaques infected with a live attenuated SIV strain (SIVdelta3) and in two of three macaques infected with pathogenic SIV strains. The CMV-specific CTL response was class I major histocompatibility complex restricted and mediated by CD8+ cells. An early CMV protein(s) was the dominant target recognized by bulk CTL, although the pattern of CTL recognition of CMV proteins varied among animals. Analysis of CMV-specific CTL responses in macaques should serve as a valuable model for CMV immunopathogenesis and will facilitate prospective in vivo studies of immune interactions between CMV and SIV in AIDS.
CMV infection is responsible for acceleration of immune senescence and linked to systemic pathologies, including cardiovascular diseases. In this study, we investigated differences in the immune response between CMV-seropositive and seronegative patients undergoing primary percutaneous coronary intervention (PPCI) for acute myocardial infarction (MI). Peripheral blood samples were taken at six different time points: pre-, 15, 30, 90 min, 24 h after PPCI and at 3 months after MI. Absolute counts of lymphocyte subpopulations, immune response to specific and nonspecific stimulation, serum cytokines and levels of CMV-IgG, cardiolipin-IgG, and anti-endothelial cell antibodies were assessed. CMV-seropositive patients with MI showed a twofold higher IFN-γ production to PHA-stimulation, up to 2.5-fold higher levels of IP-10 in serum and up to 30% lower serum levels of IL-16 compared to CMV-seronegative individuals. CMV-seropositive patients could be divided into two subgroups with high (IL-10Hi) and low (IL-10Lo) IL-10 serum levels during the acute stage of MI. The IL-10Hi CMV-seropositive subgroup showed an increased exit of late-differentiated T lymphocytes, NK and NKT-like cells from the circulation, which may potentially enhance cytotoxic damage in the ischemic myocardium. Finally, we did not observe an acceleration of autoimmunity by MI in CMV-seropositive individuals. The immune response during acute MI showed characteristic differences between CMV seronegative and seropositive patients, with a stronger pro-inflammatory response in seropositive patients. The effects of IP-10, IL-16, and IL-10 on characteristics of acute immune responses and formation of different immune profiles in CMV-seropositive individuals require further investigation.
CMV infection; cytokines; myocardial infarction; reperfusion injury; T cells
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) latent infection has a deleterious effect on the efficacy of influenza vaccination in the elderly, suggesting that CMV restricts immunological diversity impairing the immune system functionality in old age. Polyfunctional T cells produce multiple cytokines and higher amounts than mono-functional T cells. High number of polyfunctional T cells correlates with better prognosis during infection. Thus, the efficiency of T cell response associates with quality (polyfunctionality) rather than with quantity (percentage of T cells). We analyze the effect of CMV infection on CD8+ T cells polyfunctionality ―degranulation (CD107a), IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha production―, from young CMV-seropositive and CMV-seronegative individuals and in middle age CMV-seropositive donors, in response to Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B (SEB). Our results show a higher percentage of polyfunctional CD8+ T cells in young CMV-seropositive individuals compared to CMV-seronegative. Also, we find an expansion of CD8+CD57+ T cells in CMV-seropositive individuals, which are more polyfunctional than CD8+CD57− cells. In middle age individuals there is a higher frequency of SEB-responding CD8+ T cells, mainly TNF-alpha or TNF-alpha/IFN-gamma producers, whereas the percentage of polyfunctional cells (IFN-gamma/TNF-alpha/CD107a) is similar to the percentages found in young CMV-seropositive. Therefore, whereas it has been shown that CMV latent infection can be detrimental for immune response in old individuals, our results indicate that CMV-seropositivity is associated to higher levels of polyfunctional CD8+ T cells in young and middle age donors. This increase in polyfunctionality, which can provide an immunological advantage in the response to other pathogens, is due to a CD8+CD57+ T cell expansion in CMV-seropositive individuals and it is independent of age. Conversely, age could contribute to the inflammation found in old individuals by increasing the percentage of cells producing pro-inflammatory cytokines. These findings highlight the necessity of further studies on the benefits/detrimental effects of CMV infection in the response to vaccination and other infections.
In immunocompetent persons, cytomegalovirus (CMV) is thought to persist primarily in monocytes and myeloid progenitor cells, establishing a chronic infection. In older adults, chronic CMV infection is typically diagnosed by a positive IgG serology. While many studies have shown CMV-specific T-cell expansion in CMV seropositive older individuals, significant heterogeneity has also been observed in this elderly population. In a study of 71 community-dwelling older adults, we assessed CMV viral DNA in peripheral monocytes by nested PCR and compared the relationships of detectable CMV DNA and IgG serology with serum levels of neopterin, a marker for monocyte/macrophage-mediated immune activation. The results showed that 52 (73.2%) participants were CMV seropositive, of whom 30 (57.5%) had detectable CMV DNA. CMV seropositive and seronegative participants did not differ in their neopterin levels, but individuals with detectable CMV DNA had higher neopterin than those without (10.6±4.4 vs 8.0±1.9nM, respectively, p<.0001) adjusting for demographic and clinical covariates and interferon (IFN)-γ levels. In addition, there was no association between IgG titers and neopterin. These findings suggest that detection of CMV viral DNA in monocytes may be an informative tool to evaluate chronic CMV infection and its potential role in monocyte/macrophage-mediated immune activation in the elderly.
Detectable CMV DNAin peripheral monocytes; neopterin; immune activation; older adults
Measurement of antibody to cytomegalovirus (CMV) glycoprotein B (gB) is valuable in the assessment of the antibody response to infection and to gB-containing vaccines. For this purpose, an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with a recombinant CMV gB molecule as the antigen was evaluated. Sera from 168 anti-CMV IgG-positive and 100 seronegative subjects were used to evaluate the anti-gB antibody assay. A cutoff optical density (OD) that would distinguish gB antibody-positive from -negative sera was established. Titers of antibody to gB determined by endpoint dilution were compared with those calculated using regression analysis. The run-to-run and interoperator reproducibilities of results were measured. The mean OD + 5 standard deviations from 50 anti-CMV IgG antibody-negative sera (0.2472) was used as the cutoff between anti-gB antibody-positive and -negative results. All sera from 100 anti-CMV IgG-seronegative subjects were negative for antibody to gB. All but 1 of 168 sera from seropositive subjects were positive for antibody to gB. Observed antibody levels based on titration to the endpoint were very similar to results calculated using linear regression. The run-to-run consistency of endpoints was excellent, with 38 runs from one operator and 48 runs from another all giving results within 1 dilution of the mean value for each of three anti-CMV IgG antibody-positive serum pools. The geometric mean titer of antibody to gB for 99 sera from seropositive blood donors was 1/10,937. This ELISA gives accurate and reproducible results for the relative quantity of anti-CMV gB IgG in serum over a wide range of antibody levels.
Human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8), cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) are prevalent in Africa, but less common elsewhere and the modes of transmission are still subject to debate. Generally, they rarely cause disease in the immunocompetent host but are highly oncogenic when associated with immunosuppression. Although the high prevalence of HHV-8, CMV and EBV has been well documented in Africa, such data are sparse from Ghana.
Serum samples from 3275 HIV-seronegative healthy blood donors and 250 HIV-AIDS patients were tested for antibodies specific for HHV-8, CMV and EBV by IgG ELISA assays. Differences in seropositivity rates by gender and age were evaluated using the Chi-square test with Yates correction.
Of the 3275 HIV-seronegative healthy blood donors tested, 2573 (78.6%) were males and 702 (21.4%) were females, with ages ranging from 18 to 65 years (median 32.6; mean 31.2; mode 30). Of the 250 HIV-AIDS patients tested, 140 (56%) were males and 110 (44%) were females, with ages ranging from 17 to 64 years (median 30.8; mean 30.3; mode 28). Among the HIV-seronegative healthy blood donors, overall seroprevalence of HHV-8, CMV and EBV was 23.7%, 77.6% and 20.0%, respectively. Among the HIV-AIDS patients, overall seroprevalence of HHV-8, CMV and EBV was 65.6%, 59.2% and 87.2%, respectively. The seroprevalence of HHV-8 (p < 0.005) and EBV (p < 0.001) was statistically significantly higher in HIV-AIDS patients compared to HIV-seronegative healthy blood donors. There was no statistically significant difference (p = 0.24) between CMV seroprevalence in HIV-AIDS patients and HIV-seronegative healthy blood donors. Age and gender were not independent determinants (p > 0.05) for all three infections among HIV-seronegative healthy blood donors and HIV-AIDS patients in Ghana.
The results presented herein indicate that HHV-8, CMV and EBV infections are hyperendemic in both HIV-seronegative and HIV-seropositive Ghanaians, and suggest primarily a horizontal route of transmission of these three viral infections in Ghana.
AIMS--To study the association between cytomegalovirus (CMV) excretion and interstitial pneumonitis in allogeneic bone marrow transplant (BMT) recipients, with reference to donor and recipient CMV antibody response. METHODS--The incidence of CMV excretion was prospectively studied in 62 allogeneic bone marrow transplantations performed on adults and children. All recipients received CMV seronegative blood products. Prophylaxis with high dose acyclovir and CMV immune globulin was given to high risk patients (donor or recipient, or both, CMV seropositive). RESULTS--CMV excretion was detected in eight of 26 (31%) high risk patients but in only one of 36 low risk patients (donor and recipient both CMV seronegative). Five of the eight (63%) excretors in the high risk category developed CMV, of whom four (80%) belonged to the seropositive recipient/seronegative donor group, and included the three CMV seropositive recipients whose CMV complement fixation antibody titres were 64 or greater before transplantation. CONCLUSIONS--These findings suggest that there is a subgroup of patients at especially high risk of developing CMV.
Anti-cytomegalovirus (CMV) antibodies reduce the incidence of CMV transmission and ameliorate the severity of CMV-associated disease. Neutralizing activity, measured as the ability of antibodies to prevent entry of cell-free virus, is an important component of natural immunity. However, in vivo CMV amplification may occur mainly via spread between adjacent cells within tissues. Thus, inhibition of cell-to-cell spread may be important when evaluating therapeutic antibodies or humoral responses to infection or immunization. In vitro CMV cell-to-cell spread is largely resistant to antibodies in fibroblast cultures but sensitive in endothelial cell cultures. In the present study antibodies in CMV hyperimmuneglobulin or seropositive human sera inhibited CMV cell-to-cell spread in epithelial cell cultures. Spread inhibition activity was quantitated with a GFP reporter assay employing GFP-tagged epithelialtropic variants of CMV strains Towne or AD169. Measurement of spread inhibition provides an additional parameter for the evaluation of candidate vaccines or immunotherapeutics and to further characterize the role of antibodies in controlling CMV transmission and disease.
Cytomegalovirus; Antibodies; Spread inhibition; Epithelial cells
Although opportunistic infections like cytomegalovirus (CMV) are common sequelae of end-stage AIDS, the immune events leading to CMV reactivation in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals are not well defined. The role of cellular and humoral CMV-specific immune responses in immune control of latent CMV infection was evaluated prospectively in a cohort of 11 simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected CMV-seropositive rhesus macaques, 6 of whom had histologic evidence of CMV disease at death. Macaques with CMV disease differed from macaques without CMV disease in having significantly higher levels of plasma SIV RNA and CMV DNA and significantly lower titers of anti-CMV binding antibodies (Abs) at the time of death. A significant decline in anti-CMV Abs and CMV-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes over time was observed in the macaques with CMV disease, but not in the macaques without CMV disease. Reduction in CMV-specific CD8+ T lymphocytes and anti-CMV neutralizing Abs was significantly correlated with a decline in CMV-specific CD4+ T lymphocytes. Although declines in CMV-specific T lymphocytes alone were sufficient for reactivation of low-level CMV viremia, high-level viremia (>1,000 copies of CMV DNA per ml of plasma) was observed when anti-CMV neutralizing and binding Abs had also declined. Thus, the occurrence of CMV reactivation-associated disease in AIDS is associated with suppression of both cellular and humoral CMV-specific immune responses. The underlying mechanism may be a dysfunction of memory B and CD8+ T lymphocytes associated with SIV-induced impairment of CMV-specific CD4+ T-cell help.
Immunoglobulin G to human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) and cytomegalovirus (CMV) in sera from solid organ recipients was measured by an enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) before and after transplant. The HHV-6 ELISA was developed from glycine extracts of HHV-6-infected and uninfected HSB-2 cells. At a serum dilution of 1:500, 80 (91%) of 88 recipients were seropositive for HHV-6 before transplant, while only 14 (16%) were seropositive for CMV. Posttransplant HHV-6 serologic rises were observed in 38 (43%) recipients; rises in 25 of these recipients were associated with primary CMV infection. Titration of sera revealed much higher HHV-6 titer rises among those with primary CMV infection than among those with CMV reactivation or with no CMV infection. Elevated HHV-6 antibody titers persisted for up to 2 years after primary CMV infection. No correlation was noted between CMV and HHV-6 antibody titers in individual serum samples.
Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease is the leading cause of permanent disability in neonates in the United States. Neutralizing antibodies in saliva may protect against maternal CMV infection by blocking viral entry into oral epithelial cells, but the antibody response to CMV in the saliva following natural infection is not well characterized. Saliva specimens from naturally infected individuals were tested for CMV-neutralizing activity using epithelial and fibroblast cells. Saliva from seronegative adults had no inherent anti-CMV activity. Neutralizing activity of saliva from naturally infected adults was not detectable using fibroblast cells, and saliva from young children, adolescents, and Towne vaccine recipients did not have activity using either cell type. However, when using epithelial cells, neutralizing activity was present in saliva from 50% of seropositive adults, correlated with serum-neutralizing activity, and was more prevalent in mothers of children in day care than in non-day care-associated adults. Three day care mothers with high salivary neutralizing activities (>1:20) had exceptionally high serum-neutralizing titers (3- to 8-fold higher than typical seropositives) and were immunoblot positive for serum antibodies to the epithelial entry mediator UL130. These results suggest that salivary neutralizing activities are attainable by induction of high serum IgG levels and could be utilized to evaluate candidate cytomegalovirus vaccines.
Antiviral prophylaxis has proved successful for prevention of cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease in solid organ transplant (SOT) patients; though emerging data suggest that antiviral agents interfere with immunity, and may inhibit immune-priming. In this context, we investigated levels and phenotype of primary CMV-specific immune responses that developed during antiviral prophylaxis in a cohort of CMV seronegative recipients (R−) of a SOT from a seropositive donor (D+). We longitudinally monitored CMV viral load, antibodies and levels of the negative immuno-modulator IL-10. PBMC were stimulated with CMV-specific peptide libraries to measure CD137 activation marker on CMV-specific T-cells and levels of PD-1 receptor, which is overexpressed on exhausted T-cells. Unexpectedly, the majority (13/18) of D+R− patients who developed a primary CMV response showed early post-transplant CMV-specific responses, though levels of PD-1 on CMV-specific T-cells remained elevated throughout prophylaxis. A strong inverse association was found between levels of plasma IL-10 and CMV-specific cellular immune responses. Our study suggests that during prophylaxis, subclinical CMV infection might have occurred in the D+R− patients, and primary CMV-specific responses were detected early post-transplant when levels of plasma IL-10 were low. Extended prophylaxis or antiviral treatment did not appear to suppress CMV-specific antibodies or T-cells, which however showed exhaustion phenotypes.
CMV; CD137; IL-10; PD-1; SOT
The UL128 complex of human cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a major determinant of viral entry into epithelial and endothelial cells and a target for vaccine development. The UL/b′ region of rhesus CMV contains several open reading frames, including orthologs of the UL128 complex. We recently showed that the coding content of the rhesus CMV (RhCMV) UL/b′ region predicts acute endothelial tropism and long-term shedding in vivo in the rhesus macaque model of CMV infection. The laboratory-passaged RhCMV 180.92 strain has a truncated UL/b′ region but an intact UL128 complex. To investigate whether the presence of the UL128 complex alone was sufficient to confer endothelial and epithelial tropism in vivo, we investigated tissue dissemination and viral excretion following experimental RhCMV 180.92 inoculation of RhCMV-seronegative rhesus macaques. We show the presence of at least two virus variants in the RhCMV 180.92 infectious virus stock. A rare variant noted for a nontruncated wild-type-virus-like UL/b′ region, rapidly emerged during in vivo replication and showed high-level replication in blood and tissues and excretion in urine and saliva, features similar to those previously reported in naturally occurring wild-type RhCMV infection. In contrast, the predominant truncated version of RhCMV 180.92 showed significantly lower plasma DNAemia and limited tissue dissemination and viral shedding. These data demonstrate that the truncated RhCMV 180.92 variant is attenuated in vivo and suggest that additional UL/b′ genes, besides the UL128 complex, are required for optimal in vivo CMV replication and dissemination.
IMPORTANCE An effective vaccine against human CMV infection will need to target genes that are essential for virus propagation and transmission. The human CMV UL128 complex represents one such candidate antigen since it is essential for endothelial and epithelial cell tropism, and is a target for neutralizing antibodies in CMV-infected individuals. In this study, we used the rhesus macaque animal model of CMV infection to investigate the in vivo function of the UL128 complex. Using experimental infection of rhesus macaques with a rhesus CMV virus variant that contained an intact UL128 complex but was missing several other genes, we show that the presence of the UL128 complex alone is not sufficient for widespread tissue dissemination and virus excretion. These data highlight the importance of in vivo studies in evaluating human CMV gene function and suggest that additional UL/b′ genes are required for optimal CMV dissemination and transmission.
Employing the techniques of complement fixation, immunofluorescence, and in vitro lymphocyte transformation assay, the antibody and cell-mediated immunity to cytomegalovirus (CMV) were studied in the serum, peripheral blood lymphocytes, tonsillar lymphocytes, and cord blood lymphocytes. The study population consisted of 32 children undergoing tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. In the lymphocyte transformation assay, three strains of CMV (AD-169, ADH-1-41, and Davis), herpes simplex type 1, and phytohemagglutinin were employed as antigens. Sixty-five percent of the subjects were found to have CMV-specific antibody activity. The lymphocyte transformation response to phytohemagglutinin was similar in all subjects. No CMV-specific lymphocyte transformation activity was detected in cultures of cord blood lymphocytes. Significant cell-mediated immunity was observed in the tonsillar lymphocytes of 30% (3/10) of the seronegative individuals and in the peripheral blood lymphocytes obtained from one such subject. Over 75% (16/21) of the seropositive subjects demonstrated cell-mediated immunity against one or more strains of CMV in the peripheral blood lymphocytes and tonsillar lymphocytes. In the lymphocyte transformation assay, no cross-reactivity was apparent between CMV and herpes simplex type 1. These studies demonstrate the presence of strain-specific systemic and mucosal cell-mediated immune response to CMV in humans. The frequency and distribution of lymphocyte transformation responses to the three CMV strains suggest antigenic heterogeneity of CMV.
In immunocompetent individuals, cytomegalovirus (CMV) is thought to persist in a latent state in monocytes and myeloid progenitor cells, establishing a lifelong infection. In CMV-seropositive older adults, aging has been associated with both expansion of CMV pp65495–503-specific CD8+ T cell clones and shrinkage of the T cell repertoire that characterize T cell immunosenescence. In fact it has been suggested that chronic CMV infection is a driving force in age-related T cell immunosenescence. In older adults, chronic CMV infection is conventionally diagnosed by positive IgG serology which does not distinguish between past and persistent infections. To better define the relationship between chronic CMV infection and expansion of CMV pp65495–503-specific CD8+ T cells, we directly assessed CMV viral DNA in monocyte-enriched peripheral blood mononuclear cells in 16 HLA-A2-positive elderly volunteers (mean age = 83 years). While all participants had positive CMV IgG serology by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, only nine (56%) had detectable CMV DNA by nested polymerase chain reaction. These nine individuals had significantly higher percentages of CMV pp65495–503 tetramer-positive CD8+ T cells (median = 1.3%) than those without detectable CMV DNA (median = 0.1%; p < 0.001). Absolute CMV IgG antibody titers did not differ between these two groups (median = 54.6 vs 44.2 EU/ml, respectively, p = 0.4). CMV IgM titers were negative for all 16 participants, suggesting that recent primary CMV infection was unlikely. These results demonstrate a strong association between the presence of CMV DNA in peripheral monocytes and the expansion of CD8+ T cells specific for the CMV immunodominant epitope pp65495–503. Although the sample size in this study is relatively small, these findings provide initial evidence suggesting the heterogeneity of CMV IgG-seropositive older adult population and CMV viral DNA detection in peripheral monocytes as an informative tool to better understand the relationship between chronic CMV infection and T cell immunosenescence.
Monocytic CMV DNA; CMV pp65495–503-specific CD8+ T cells; CMV IgG serology; Older adults
The aim of this study was to optimize the ability to detect cytomegalovirus (CMV)-specfic cell-mediated immunity (CMI) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals by comparing different assays (the lymphocyte proliferation assay [LPA] and assays for gamma interferon [IFN-γ] and interleukin-2 [IL-2] production) and CMV antigenic preparations. Thresholds discriminating positive from negative CMI results were developed with specimens from 36 CMV-seropositive and 21 CMV-seronegative healthy individuals. The analysis showed that the CMI elicited by any of the four CMV whole lysates tested in this study tended to be more robust and sensitive than the responses to the subunit antigens gB and pp65. LPA and inducible IFN-γ but not IL-2 were highly sensitive measures of CMV-specific CMI in HIV-infected and -uninfected individuals. The ability to detect CMV-specific LPA or IFN-γ responses in HIV-infected individuals significantly increased with higher CD4 cell numbers. Nevertheless, the proportion of HIV-infected subjects with CD4 counts of ≥500 cells/μl who had a detectable CMV-specific CMI remained significantly lower than that of healthy adults. The ability to detect CMV-specific CMI in HIV-infected individuals decreased with higher levels of HIV replication, with discriminative thresholds of 103 to 104 HIV RNA copies/ml of plasma, for LPA or inducible IFN-γ production elicited by different antigens. The LPA responses obtained with CMV whole lysate and phytohemagglutinin were significantly correlated in HIV-infected subjects but not uninfected controls, indicating a novel characteristic of the CMI defect caused by HIV. The intrasubject variabilities of the CMV-specific CMI were similar in HIV-infected and -uninfected individuals. These data show that LPA and the inducible IFN-γ production elicited by CMV whole lysates may be used to assess modifications of the immune competency of HIV-infected individuals.
In a series of 61 consecutive patients undergoing heart, heart and lung, and lung transplantation, 24 patients were known to be cytomegalovirus (CMV) antibody negative on the day of transplantation. Enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) for CMV IgG were performed on donor samples on the day of operation. In 16 of the 24 susceptible patients the test was negative and the only preventive measure taken was the use of blood and blood products from CMV-antibody negative blood donors. None of these patients acquired primary infection with CMV. In another six patients the donor serum was found to contain CMV specific IgG, and in these patients, including one heart and lung transplant recipient, prophylaxis with CMV specific hyperimmune globulin was given. All six patients developed CMV IgM antibodies and in five there was an associated but clinically mild illness. None of these patients required treatment. In the remaining two patients ELISA tests on the donor sera gave equivocal results and hyperimmune globulin was withheld. Both patients developed primary CMV infection of greater severity than those given hyperimmune globulin and one required treatment. Reference tests confirmed that the donor sera contained CMV antibodies. Primary CMV infection in susceptible patients after heart transplantation can be avoided by the use of screened blood and blood products where the organ donor is seronegative to CMV and it can be improved by the use of prophylactic hyperimmune globulin where the donor is CMV antibody positive.
In vitro lymphocyte reactivity (LR) to cytomegalovirus (CMV)-infected human fetal fibroblasts (CMVFF) and cell-free CMV were measured by using lymphocytes from healthy donors. Lymphocytes from all seropositive donors were stimulated by CMVFF, whereas lymphocytes from negative donors were not. The optimal stimulator cell-to-lymphocyte ratio was in the range of 1:5 to 1:50, dependent on the virus dose used. LR to cell-free CMV was positive for 15 out of 18 seropositive donors and negative for 14 out of 16 seronegative donors. In most cases LR to CMVFF was considerably higher than LR to cell-free CMV. Within the CMV seropositive group there was no significant correlation between the LR to either CMVFF or cell-free CMV and the levels of antibodies to CMV early antigens or CMV late antigens. There was no strict correlation between LR to CMVFF and to cell-free CMV, especially not in tests with lymphocytes from two patients with CMV mononucleosis. Our data suggest that CMVFF and cell-free CMV are recognized (partly) by different subpopulations of CMV-specific memory lymphocytes. We conclude that the use of CMV-infected cells, in addition to cell-free CMV, in LR tests gives more reproducible and possibly also additional information about CMV-specific cellular immunity.
Since African-Americans have twice the prevalence of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections as age-matched Caucasians we sought to determine the ages and possible sources of infection of African-American children.
Subjects were 157 African-American healthy children and adolescents and their 113 household adults in Richmond VA. Families completed a questionnaire, provided saliva for antibody testing, and adolescents were interviewed regarding sexual activity.
Regardless of age CMV seropositivity was not associated with gender, breast feeding, health insurance, sexual activity, or household income, education, or size. In the final regression model, prior CMV infection in adults was over two-fold higher than in children (chi-square = 18.8, p < 0.0001). At one year of age the CMV seropositivity rate was 11% (95%CI = 4% – 24%) and increased 1.8% each year until age 13 years. Between ages 13 and 20 years the CMV seropositivity rate remained between 22% and 33%. For adults, the CMV seropositivity rate was 84% in 21 year olds (95%CI = 69%–.92%). There was no association between CMV infections of the children and their mothers but CMV infections among siblings were associated.
We observed that African-American children had CMV seroprevalence rates by age 20 years at less than one-half of that of their adult mothers and caregivers. Sibling-to-sibling transmission was a likely source of CMV infections for the children. The next generation of African-American women may be highly susceptible to a primary CMV infection during pregnancy and may benefit from a CMV vaccine.