Cytomegalovirus viral load measurement is a powerful new tool for monitoring of CMV disease; however, the optimal strategy for use is unknown. Weekly plasma CMV viral loads and CMV-related outcomes were monitored in 46 consecutive allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) recipients receiving standardised antiviral prophylaxis. A total of 412 CMV viral loads were quantitated in the first 100 days post transplantation with 77 positive samples (19%) in 20 patients (43%). No patient with all negative CMV viral load results developed CMV disease. Two of three patients with highly positive CMV viral loads (first positive ≤30 days post transplant, maximum viral load ≥5000 copies/ml, and ≥50% of samples positive) developed CMV disease. A total of 17 patients with positive CMV viral loads, who did not meet the criteria for highly positive, did not develop CMV disease. CMV viral load detection was higher in recipients who were CMV sero-positive. In conclusion, CMV disease did not occur in the setting of a persistently negative CMV viral load. A positive CMV viral load result occurred commonly after allogeneic BMT, even in patients receiving antiviral prophylaxis.
- Viral load
ASJC Scopus subject areas