Cell mediated immunity to cytomegalovirus infection in normal subjects and cardiac transplant patients

Richard B Pollard, K. H. Rand, A. M. Arvin, T. C. Merigan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Two assays of cell-mediated immunity, lymphocyte transformation and interferon production, were adapted to test for specific immunity to cytomegalovirus (CMV). Normal individuals seropositive for CMV had a mean transformation index of 7.9 in response to antigen of the Davis strain of CMV, whereas all of 14 seronegative normal individuals had transformation indexes of ≤3.0. Interferon production in seropositive and seronegative individuals was not statistically different. One to two months after CMV mononucleosis (after the termination of viruria), normal individuals had increased transformation indexes. Recipients of cardiac transplants within six months after transplant had normal levels of antibody to CMV; lymphocyte transformation and interferon production in these subjects were markedly decreased and returned to normal by three years and between one and three years after transplant, respectively. A syndrome of unexplained fever, hepatitis, pneumonitis, leukopenia, and atypical lymphocytes was common in a group of recipients with primary CMV infection. Shedding of virus was frequent in these symptomatic patients and in patients with repeat infection during the first three years after transplant. These assays appear to identify periods of immune deficits correlating with increased incidence of infection with CMV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-549
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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