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EBMT 2022 | Pros & cons of assays for immune monitoring of virus-specific T-cell responses following alloHSCT

Raffaella Greco, MD, PhD, San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, Italy, outlines the different types of assays for immune monitoring of T-cell virus-specific immune responses in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHSCT) recipients, highlighting the pros and cons of each of these techniques. QuantiFERON is a simple and highly standardized assay, but it can only measure CD8+ T-cells and can only be performed early after alloHSCT and in patients without other transplant complications. In contrast, the enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISpot) assay is more sensitive and can measure both CD8+ and CD4+ T-cells, thereby giving insights into the immune reconstitution of the patient, but it is a more complex and labor-intensive assay. Dextramer® is a new standardized assay able to measure virus-specific CD8+ T-cells early after alloHSCT. Dr Greco explains that these methods can be combined to measure immune responses both at early and later time points after transplantation. Finally, Dr Greco emphasizes the importance of reaching standardization regarding the use of these assays in EBMT centers. This interview took place at the 48th Annual Meeting of the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) 2022, which was held virtually.