Cytomegalovirus-induced lymphocyte reactivity (CMV-LR) of peripheral blood lymphocytes and antibodies against CMV-early (EA) and late (LA) antigens were studied in eighteen patients with documented acute CMV infections and seventy-six healthy persons. The development of a positive CMV-LR test lagged far behind the appearance of virus-specific antibodies. Positive CMV-LR tests were shown in all fourteen patients who could be tested twice or more. The median value of twenty-two tests in the acute phase (<50 days) was 269 d/min and the median of thirty tests in the post-illness phase (>50 days) was 1301 d/min (P<0·02). Once positive CMV-LR remained so during the follow-up period, up to 479 days after the onset of illness symptoms. In the meantime the LA and EA antibody response remained positive. Only two patients studied once showed negative CMV-LR responses while their serum contained high CMV-EA antibody titres. In CMV-LA seropositive healthy individuals who also possessed CMV-EA antibodies (LA+EA+) CMV-LR was higher (P<0·01) than in the LA seropositives who lacked EA antibodies (LA+EA−). The young LA+EA+ individuals, however, showed better (P<0·02) CMV−LR test results than the aged ones while their CMV antibody levels—especially the EA antibodies (P<0·02)—were lower. This phenomenon of increased CMV antibody production in relation to depressed CMV-LR is possibly caused by age-associated impairment of T lymphocyte function. The combined CMV-LR and EA antibody tests may provide useful means to study the specific immunological host/virus relationship in different clinical situations.
|Tijdschrift||Clinical and Experimental Immunology|
|Nummer van het tijdschrift||2|
|Status||Published - feb-1980|