A longitudinal study of human cytomegalovirus serology and viruria fails to detect active viral infection in 20 systemic lupus erythematosus patients.Lupus. 2000; 9(2):120-6.L
In this study, we investigated whether active human cytomegalovirus infection could be detected in 20 systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients over a one-year observation period by polymerase chain reaction on serial urine specimens and by monitoring of IgG and IgM HCMV-specific antibody profiles in serial serum samples. Of 788 urine samples analysed for the presence of human cytomegalovirus DNA, only 2 specimens (0.25%) collected from two different patients contained genuine human cytomegalovirus sequences as determined by polymerase chain reaction and subsequent sequencing of the PCR products. These two patients had one positive sample out of 36 samples or 40 samples, respectively. Nineteen of the patients (95%) possessed IgG antibodies against human cytomegalovirus, while 9 (45%) produced IgM antibodies. However, none of the patients showed signs of an active virus infection as judged by the stable anti-HCMV IgG or IgM antibody levels during the observation period, nor was any correlation between disease activity and HCMV serology/viruria observed. Of single serum samples of 26 age- and sex-matched blood donors, 21 (81%) were HCMV IgG positive and 1 (3.8%) was IgM seropositive. In conclusion, our data fail to establish an active human cytomegalovirus infection in SLE patients.