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San Juan Capistrano, CA, United States

Prince H.E.,Focus Diagnostics Reference Laboratory | Lape-Nixon M.,Focus Diagnostics Reference Laboratory | Brenner A.,Mayo Medical Laboratories | Pitstick N.,Arup | And 2 more authors.
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology | Year: 2014

The measurement of cytomegalovirus (CMV) IgG avidity is a powerful tool for identifying individuals with recent CMV infection. Because such patients are expected to be positive for CMV IgM, several investigators have suggested that CMV IgG-positive sera first be screened for CMV IgM and then only the IgM-reactive sera be tested for avidity. We investigated the impact of different CMV IgM assays on such a reflexing algorithm using a panel of 369 consecutive IgG-positive serum samples submitted for avidity testing. A bead-based immunofluorescent assay (BIFA) identified 105 IgM-positive serum samples, whereas an IgM-capture enzyme immunoassay (EIA) identified 48 IgM-positive serum samples; this marked difference led us to evaluate additional CMV IgM assays. An enzyme-linked immunofluorescent assay (ELFA) and a chemiluminescent immunoassay (CIA) were used to test all sera with discordant BIFA/EIA results, all sera with concordant positive results, and selected sera with concordant negative results. The findings indicated that the ELFA would identify 74 CMV IgM-positive samples and the CIA would identify 64. Of the 23 low-avidity serum samples, 2 were IgM negative by BIFA, 3 by ELFA and CIA, and 4 by EIA; of the 23 intermediate-avidity serum samples, 6 were IgM negative by BIFA, 10 by ELFA, and 15 by EIA and CIA. In both these avidity groups, BIFA IgM-negative sera were also negative by the other 3 assays. These findings demonstrate that an algorithm requiring CMV IgM reactivity as a criterion for CMV IgG avidity testing does not identify all low-avidity sera and thus misses some cases of acute CMV infection. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


Prince H.E.,Focus Diagnostics Reference Laboratory | Lape-Nixon M.,Focus Diagnostics Reference Laboratory
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology | Year: 2014

The risk of intrauterine transmission of cytomegalovirus (CMV) during pregnancy is much greater for women who contract primary CMV infection after conception than for women with evidence of infection (circulating CMV antibodies) before conception. Thus, laboratory tests that aid in the identification of recent primary CMV infection are important tools for managing the care of pregnant women suspected of having been exposed to CMV. CMV IgM detection is a sensitive marker of primary CMV infection, but its specificity is poor because CMV IgM is also produced during viral reactivation and persists following primary infection in some individuals. Studies conducted over the last 20 years convincingly demonstrate that measurement of CMV IgG avidity is both a sensitive and a specific method for identifying pregnant women with recent primary CMV infection and thus at increased risk for vertical CMV transmission. IgG avidity is defined as the strength with which IgG binds to antigenic epitopes expressed by a given protein; it matures gradually during the 6 months following primary infection. Low CMV IgG avidity is an accurate indicator of primary infection within the preceding 3 to 4 months, whereas high avidity excludes primary infection within the preceding 3 months. In this minireview, we summarize published data demonstrating the clinical utility of CMV IgG avidity results for estimating time since primary infection in pregnant women, describe commercially available CMV IgG avidity assays, and discuss some of the issues and controversies surrounding CMV IgG avidity testing during pregnancy. Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


Prince H.E.,Focus Diagnostics Reference Laboratory | Seaton B.L.,Focus Diagnostics Reference Laboratory | Matud J.L.,Focus Diagnostics Products | Batterman H.J.,Focus Diagnostics Reference Laboratory
Clinical and Vaccine Immunology | Year: 2015

Since first reported in the Americas in December 2013, chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infections have been documented in travelers returning from the Caribbean, with many cases identified by CHIKV antibody and/or RNA testing at our laboratory. We used our large data set to characterize the relationship between antibody titers and RNA detection and to estimate IgM persistence. CHIKV RNA was measured by nucleic acid amplification and CHIKV IgG/IgM by indirect immunofluorescence. Of the 1,306 samples submitted for RNA testing in January through September 2014, 393 (30%) were positive; for 166 RNA-positive samples, CHIKV antibody testing was also ordered, and 84% were antibody negative. Of the 6,971 sera submitted for antibody testing in January through September 2014, 1,811 (26%) were IgM positive; 1,461 IgM positives (81%) were also IgG positive. The relationship between the CHIKV antibody titers and RNA detection was evaluated using 376 IgM-positive samples (138 with RNA testing ordered and 238 deidentified and tested for RNA). RNA detection showed no significant association with the IgM titer but was inversely related to the IgG titer; 63% of the IgG negative sera were RNA positive, compared to 36% of sera with low IgG titers (1:10 to 1:80) and 16% with IgG titers of ≥1:160. Using second-sample results from 62 seroconverters, we estimated that CHIKV IgM persists for 110 days (95% confidence interval, 78 to 150 days) after the initial antibody-negative sample. These findings indicate that (i) RNA detection is more sensitive than antibody detection early in CHIKV infection, (ii) in the absence of RNA results, the IgG titer of the IgM-positive samples may be a useful surrogate for viremia, and (iii) CHIKV IgM persists for approximately 4 months after symptom onset. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

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