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Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo

On-line version ISSN 1678-9946


CUNHA, Aldo de Albuquerque; MARIN, Lauro Juliano; AQUINO, Victor Hugo  and  FIGUEIREDO, Luiz Tadeu Moraes. Diagnosis of cytomegalovirus infections by qualitative and quantitative PCR in HIV infected patients. Rev. Inst. Med. trop. S. Paulo [online]. 2002, vol.44, n.3, pp.127-132. ISSN 1678-9946.

A high incidence of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections is observed in Brazil. These viruses are causatives of significant morbidity and mortality among patients with advanced human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. This work, shows the application of a PCR on determination of CMV load in the buffy coat and plasma. We analyzed the samples of 247 HIV infected patients in order to diagnose CMV infection and disease. We developed a semi-quantitative PCR that amplifies part of the glycoprotein B (gB) gene of CMV. The semi-quantitative PCR was carried out only in positive clinical samples in a qualitative PCR confirmed by a nested-PCR. CD4 lymphocyte count, HIV viral load and CMV disease symptom were correlated with CMV load. CMV genome was detected in the buffy coat of 82 of 237 (34.6%) patients, in 10 of these the CMV load was determined varying between 928 and 332 880 viral copies/mg DNA. None of these 237 patients developed any suggestive manifestation of CMV disease. For the other 10 HIV infected patients selected based on the suspicion of CMV disease, CMV genome was detected in only one case. This patient presented a high CMV load, 8 000 000 copies/mg DNA, and developed a disseminated form of CMV disease including hepatitis and retinitis. Our results were greatly influenced by the impact of the highly active antiretroviral therapy that reduced incidence of CMV viremia and occurrence of CMV disease in the HIV infected patients.

Keywords : CMV; Semiquantitative PCR; HIV patients.

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