Monitoring of human cytomegalovirus-specific CD4+ and CD8 + T-cell immunity in patients receiving solid organ transplantation

G. Gerna, D. Lilleri, C. Fornara, G. Comolli, L. Lozza, C. Campana, C. Pellegrini, F. Meloni, T. Rampino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Absolute and human cytomegalovirus (HCMV)-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell counts were monitored in 38 solid organ (20 heart, 9 lung and 9 kidney) transplant recipients during the first year after transplantation by a novel assay based on T-cell stimulation with HCMV-infected autologous dendritic cells. According to the pattern of T-cell restoration occurring either within the first month after transplantation or later, patients were classified as either early (n = 21) or late responders (n = 17). HCMV-specific CD4 + and CD8+ T-cell counts were consistently lower in late compared to early responders from baseline through 6 months after transplantation. In addition, in late responders, while HCMV infection preceded immune restoration, HCMV-specific CD4+ restoration was significantly delayed with respect to CD8+ T-cell restoration. The number of HCMV-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells detected prior to transplantation significantly correlated with time to T-cell immunity restoration, in that higher HCMV-specific T-cell counts predicted earlier immune restoration. Clinically, the great majority of early responders (18/21, 85.7%) underwent self-resolving HCMV infections (p = 0.004), whereas the great majority of late responders (13/17, 76.5%) were affected by HCMV infections requiring antiviral treatment (p =

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2356-2364
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2006


  • HCMV-specific CD4 T cells
  • HCMV-specific CD8 T cells
  • Human cytomegalovirus
  • Monitoring of T-cell immunity
  • T-cell immunity solid organ transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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