Modification of the HCMV-specific IFN-γ release test (QuantiFERON-CMV) and a novel proposal for its application

  • Kobayashi Takahiro
    Department of Microbiology, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima
  • Sato Jun-Ichi
    Department of Microbiology, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima
  • Ikuta Kazufumi
    Department of Microbiology, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima Division of Microbiology, Tohoku Medical and Pharmaceutical University
  • Kanno Ryoko
    Department of Microbiology, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima
  • Nishiyama Kyoko
    Department of Microbiology, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima
  • Koshizuka Tetsuo
    Department of Microbiology, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima
  • Ishioka Ken
    Department of Microbiology, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima
  • Suzutani Tatsuo
    Department of Microbiology, Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine, Fukushima

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<p>Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is universally distributed among humans without any adverse effects; however, it induces severe diseases in immunocompromised patients such as organ transplant recipients and AIDS patients. To manage these immunocompromised patients, an easy clinical examination for the monitoring of disease risk is required. In this study, we modified the interferon-γ (IFN-γ) release test (QuantiFERON®-CMV) using HCMV immediate early-1 (IE-1) or pp65 whole proteins, or UV-inactivated HCMV particles as an antigen. The response of heparinized peripheral blood from healthy volunteers to the pp65 protein showed an obvious dose-dependent sigmoid curve, although no correlation was observed between results of this assay and an ELISPOT assay. The addition of pp65 to the blood samples at a final concentration of 1×103 to 1×105 pg/ml was found to be optimum. Using this assay, we observed a significant enhancement in cellular immunity in volunteers after the daily ingestion of yogurt for 8 weeks, which suggested a novel application of the assay in addition to monitoring HCMV infection risk. IFN-γ secretion from peripheral blood cells on HCMV-antigen stimulation differed significantly between individuals; therefore, the assay could not be normalized. Nevertheless, it was found to be particularly useful for observing fluctuations in cellular immune activity on an individual level. </p>

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