The diagnosis of congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is often accomplished by the detection of circulating antibody directed against CMV. We devised a method for measuring CMV-specific immunoglobulin M (IgM) based on the isolation of IgM antibody by reaction with a solid phase coated with antihuman IgM. The determination of IgM antibody specific for CMV was accomplished by the subsequent addition of CMV or control antigen and enzyme-labeled CMV antibody (solid phase-IgM method). We compared the sensitivity and specificity of this method with those of a conventional form of solid-phase enzyme immunoassay in which CMV antigen is bound to the solid phase (solid phase-antigen method). Both assay systems were capable of detecting CMV-specific IgM antibody in the sera of 10 babies with documented CMV infection and in those of the mothers of 4 of these babies. The solid-phase-IgM method yielded negative results in all 66 sera available from babies who did not have congenital CMV infection. On the other hand, the solid phase-antigen system yielded false-positive results in 12 (18%) of these sera. In addition, the solid phase-antigen system yielded false-positive results in 8 of 12 sera obtained from patients with demonstrable rheumatoid factor. However, the solid phase-IgM system yeilded negative results for the rheumatoid sera, provided that appropriate control reactions were performed. The solid phase-IgM system is thus a specific and sensitive method for the determination of CMV IgM antibody.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)