Screening of blood donors for human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) IgG antibody with an enzyme immunoassay using recombinant antigens.J Clin Virol. 1999 Dec; 14(3):173-81.JC
Screening of blood donors for human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection is usually performed by the combined detection of specific IgG and IgM antibody. However, in most of the cases of primary infection HCMV IgG seroconversion is observed concomitantly to IgM production and HCMV IgM antibody detection for blood donor screening is subject to a relatively high frequency of false positive results.
In the present study a newly established HCMV IgG ELISA based on recombinant antigens (anti-HCMV recombinant IgG ELISA, Biotest) was evaluated in terms of sensitivity and specificity for blood donor screening.
A total of 442 serum samples including follow-up sera of five patients suffering from primary HCMV infection, selected seropositive and seronegative blood donors and routine specimens were comparatively investigated with three HCMV antibody ELISAs (anti-HCMV recombinant IgG ELISA, Biotest; Enzygnost anti-CMV/IgG + IgM, Dade Behring; and Captia CMV-TA, Centocor).
IgG seroconversion was detected with anti-HCMV recombinant IgG ELISA as early as IgM in all five patients suffering from primary infection. The alternative ELISAs were less sensitive, detecting seroconversion one to three bleeds later in 2 (Enzygnost anti-CMV/IgG + IgM) and 4 patients (Captia CMV-TA), respectively. Anti-HCMV recombinant IgG ELISA showed a 99.1% agreement with Enzygnost anti-CMV/IgG + IgM and/or Western blot in the preselected blood donors and routine specimens. Relatively high numbers of false negative (n=20) and positive results (n=7) were obtained with Captia CMV-TA.
Our preliminary data suggest that HCMV antibody screening of blood donors can be performed reliably by detection of specific IgG provided that a highly sensitive assay system is used.