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The Towne strain of attenuated CMV vaccine was compared with placebo in seronegative renal transplants who later received kidneys from seropositive donors. This was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial conducted at 3 different institutions. The results were consistent with 2 prior studies, in that whereas mild CMV disease was only slightly and insignificantly reduced in vaccine recipients, severe disease was markedly reduced. In the current study, all 4 severe cases of CMV disease occurred in placebo recipients, for an incidence of 17%, versus 0% in vaccine recipients (P<0.03). Thus, prior immunization rendered seronegative patients more resistant to the effects of CMV infection.