Quantitative (viral load) Testing for Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Infection

The Molecular Pathology Laboratory in the Department of Pathology is now providing quantitative (viral load) testing for cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection. A quantitative PCR based assay (real-time PCR) has been validated on plasma and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimens.  The linear range of detection is 200 to 2.0 million copy/ml. Specimens that have detectable CMV less than 200 copy/ml will be reported as indeterminate.

Comparison of results with concurrent CMV Antigen Detection results demonstrated a relative correlation of 200 to 3000 copy/ml at low antigenemia results of approximately 10/300,000 white cells and 80,000 to 1.6 million copy/ml at the high antigenemia results of >200 positive white cells. 

Please use Order Form:  A-1A Pathology Doctor’s Order – Miscellaneous Request, until further notice.

Acceptable Specimens: plasma and CSF

Collection Medium: Lavender top tube (EDTA) or CSF collection container.

Deliver to Lab within 4 hours of draw.

Specimens received by 1 pm Monday, Wednesday and Friday will be tested that afternoon and reported the next morning.

Linear range of Detection: 200 copy/ml to 2 million copy/ml

Results reported: Negative
    Indeterminate, <200 copy/ml
    Quantitative value, 200 - 2,000,000 copy/ml
    Positive, >2,000,000 copy/ml
    Inconclusive, please submit an additional specimen for testing.

Questions and comments concerning the test can be directed to Aaron Bossler, M.D., Ph.D.  Tel: 384-9566 or by e-mail at aaron-bossler@uiowa.edu.