Expert review of molecular diagnostics 2017 05 04() doi 10.1080/14737159.2017.1325737
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common opportunistic infection that contributes to poor outcomes in hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients. Prevention of CMV end-organ disease in allogeneic HSCT recipients is commonly achieved by preemptive antiviral therapy of asymptomatic CMV reactivation that is detected by serial nucleic acid testing (NAT). However, there was no standardized CMV NAT until the development of the World Health Organization (WHO) International Standard. Areas covered: This article provides a comprehensive review on COBAS AmpliPrep/TaqMan (CAP/CTM) CMV assay (Roche) and emphasizes the limitations in the clinical use of CMV NAT in HSCT recipients. Expert commentary: The CAP/CTM CMV Test is the first US FDA approved commercial quantitative NAT for CMV viral load monitoring of plasma samples in solid organ transplant and HSCT recipients. The CAP/CTM assay has wide linear range of DNA quantification and demonstrates colinearity to the WHO International Standard. Studies of CAP/CTM CMV assay in HSCT recipients are still limited, but are now being reported to define viral thresholds for diagnosis, surveillance and monitoring. Results from these early studies in HSCT recipients suggest that, while the WHO IS has improved the inter-laboratory result variances, there are still important factors that continue to contribute to assay variability. This lack of harmony among NAT highlights the need for further standardization.