American journal of transplantation : official journal of the American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons 2017 05 13() doi 10.1111/ajt.14347
Cell mediated immune responses predict clinical CMV events but have not been adopted into routine practice due to lack of interventional studies. Our objective was to demonstrate the safety and feasibility of early discontinuation of antivirals based on the real-time measurement of CMV-specific CMI in patients with CMV viremia. Transplant patients were enrolled at the onset of CMV viremia requiring antiviral therapy. CD8 T-cell responses were determined using the Quantiferon-CMV assay, and results were used to guide subsequent management. A total of 27 patients (median viral load at onset 10,900 IU/ml) were treated until viral load negative. At end of treatment 14/27 (51.9%) had a positive CMV-CMI response and had antivirals discontinued. The remaining 13/27 (48.1%) patients had a negative CMV-CMI response and received two months of secondary antiviral prophylaxis. In those with a positive CMI and early discontinuation of antivirals, only a single patient experienced a low-level asymptomatic recurrence. In contrast, recurrence was observed in 69.2% of CMI negative patients despite more prolonged antivirals (p=0.001). In conclusion, this is the first study to demonstrate the feasibility and safety of real-time CMV-specific CMI assessment to guide changes to the management of CMV infection. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.