Three methods for detection of cytomegalovirus (CMV) in 218 clinical spcicmens were compared: (1) shell vial assay to detect the early nuclear antigen after incubation for 16 hours and 40 hours (Syva Company); (2) 24-well plate assay to detect the early nuclear antigen after incubation for 16 hours (DuPont); and (3) convention tissue cell culture. CMV was detected in 26 specimens (12%) by one or more of these methods. With the shell vial assay, 12 (46%) and 15 (58%) specimens were positive after incubation for 16 hours and 40 hours, respectively. CMV was detected in 17 specimens (65%) by the 24-well plate assay. There was no significant difference in the detection of CMV between these assays. CMV was identified by conventional tissue culture in 15 of 22 (68%) evaluable cultures after an average of 14.2 days. More specimens were positive by conventional culture than by the 16-hour shell vial assay (P = 0.035). For optimal detection of CMV in clinical specimens, both conventional tissue cell culture and an early antigen assay should be performed. The two early antigen assays evaluated in this study yielded comparable results. However, the 24-well plates are more easily manipulated, and the 24-well plate assay, as performed, was easier to interpret and more cost efficient.
- early antigen
- monoclonal antibodies
- rapid detection
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine