CYTOMEGALOVIRUS AND β: RECIPROCAL INTERFERENCE IN THEIR DETECTION IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ARTIFACTUALLY HIGH LEVELS OF URINARY β2 MICROGLOBULIN IN INFECTED TRANSPLANT RECIPIENTS2: RECIPROCAL INTERFERENCE IN THEIR DETECTION IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ARTIFACTUALLY HIGH LEVELS OF URINARY β2 MICROGLOBULIN IN INFECTED TRANSPLANT RECIPIENTS MICROGLOBULIN IN URINE SPECIMENS: RECIPROCAL INTERFERENCE IN THEIR DETECTION IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ARTIFACTUALLY HIGH LEVELS OF URINARY β2 MICROGLOBULIN IN INFECTED TRANSPLANT RECIPIENTS

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Abstract

We have previously shown that the binding of host β2 microglobulin (β2m) by cytomegalovirus (CMV) in body fluids masks the viral antigenic determinants preventing its detection by CMV-specific monoclonal antibodies. We now report that the recognition of CMV-bound β2m by anti-β2m-specific antibodies in assays for β2m, results in erroneously high readings for β2m levels in urine specimens containing CMV. Urinary β2m levels have previously been reported to be elevated in patients with CMV infection—however, when virion bound β2m was removed by ultracentrifugation of urine specimens, the levels of free β2m were not found to be elevated in these patients. Since CMV is frequently excreted by transplant recipients and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome patients, our data suggest that measurements of urinary β2m levels in such patients are unreliable unless the urine specimens are confirmed to be free of CMV before analysis.

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