Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common infection, and although serious disease is rare in immunocompetent individuals, CMV is a major pathogen for immunocompromised patients, including solid organ transplant recipients, hematopoietic cell transplant recipients, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients, and patients treated with immunomodulating drugs.
The range of clinical disease due to CMV in immunocompromised patients is broad and includes febrile syndromes, hepatitis, pneumonitis, retinitis, encephalitis, esophagitis, and colitis. Since the signs and symptoms of CMV disease often overlap with other infectious processes and rejection, the diagnosis is made by integrating the clinical history, clinical presentation, and laboratory data. Because CMV produces lifelong latent infection, distinguishing active disease from latent infection and asymptomatic reactivation presents an additional diagnostic challenge.
High levels of plasma CMV DNA are closely correlated with clinical disease in immunosupressed patients. Virus quantitation may be used to predict or identify CMV disease.
If a diagnosis of CMV in an immunocompetent patient is required, serology is the test of choice.
Microbiology - Virology
Dedicated EDTA tube
Testing is performed on weekdays.
CMV DNA quantitation
Cytomegalovirus viral load
CMV Viral Load Testing Specimen Collection & Separation
4.0ml whole blood EDTA tube are required per test. The samples should only be taken Mon-Fri and must be received by Virology during working hours before 1630 hours.
Do not share for other tests. The unseparated sample must be received by Virology CHL within 24 hours of collection when held at ambient temperature. If these conditions cannot be met the plasma should be separated. Minimum volume of separated plasma required is 1mL.
Centrifuge at 800-1600xg (rcf) or 3500rpm for 20 minutes at room temperature
In a biohazard cabinet: Transfer plasma aseptically using sterile pipettes provided into a yellow topped
Serology tube supplied by CHLabs. Half fill the tube. Wear gloves at all times.
Following separation, Plasma may be stored at 2-8°C for up to 72 hours. If there is likely to be a delay in getting the specimen to CHLabs of greater than 48 hours with a maintained temperature of 2-8°C then the plasma sample should be frozen and shipped frozen.
Seal and package sample/s according to transport regulations. Forward to Virology, CHL. Transport at 2-8°C (or frozen if the specimen is frozen due to referral delays).
Chilled (2 - 8 degrees Celsius)
If sample will not arrive at CHL Virology within 48 hours of collection, please freeze the plasma prior to referral.
Place specimen in PCR bag.
Nucleic acid extraction and quantitative PCR for CMV DNA
$310.81 (Exclusive of GST)