Roy F. Chemaly, MD, of MD Anderson Cancer Centre, Houston, TX discusses the importance of ELISpot assays for predicting the susceptibility to cytomegalovirus (CMV) after transplantation. He explains that the CMV is an extremely common viral infection that is prevalent in solid organ transplant recipients. Recipients can either contract primary CMV or can develop reactivated CMV due to previous exposure to the virus. However, not every patient acquires the virus, so it is crucial to be able to predict patients that are less susceptible to it so that they are not over treated.
A study was conducted by Prof. Chemlay to develop an immune-monitoring technique that can accurately predict susceptibility of acquiring CMV in transplant recipients. An ELISpot assay was used to measure the T-cell responses to CMV of 55 patients, and during a multi-institutional trial it was found that a good response suggested protection from the virus or reactivation whereas low T-cell response suggested increased susceptibility. Prof. Chemaly therefore concludes that this assay is useful in the management of patients with CMV infections. It can help determine if a patient can withhold treatment because they are going to have limited infection or if a patient might need to be treated for CMV early on. Recorded at the European Society for Blood and Marrow transplantation (2017) held in Marseille, France.
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