Journal of clinical microbiology

Diagnostic value of amplification of human cytomegalovirus DNA from gastrointestinal biopsies from human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients.

PMID 8396587


In order to assess the value of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) DNA amplification of gastrointestinal biopsies, we studied 57 human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients with and without gastrointestinal HCMV diseases. After DNA extraction, a 406-bp fragment from the unique short region of the HCMV genome was amplified by 35 cycles of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and semiquantified from 80 to 80,000 HCMV genomic copies. Among 12 non-AIDS patients, the PCR assay was negative for 11 of 12 duodenal and 8 of 8 colorectal samples. It was also negative for 28 of 31 duodenal and 12 of 15 colorectal samples from 31 AIDS patients without gastrointestinal HCMV diseases. Among 14 AIDS patients with gastrointestinal HCMV diseases, the PCR assay was positive for 12 of 12 patients with HCMV duodenitis and for 13 of 13 patients with HCMV colitis. Results were dichotomized between high and low HCMV-DNA copy numbers. For duodenitis, sensitivity was 92% and specificity was 100%. For colitis, sensitivity was 92% and specificity was 93%. Specificity and sensitivity were not influenced by shedding status for HCMV or by other gastrointestinal infections. HCMV DNA amplification of gastrointestinal biopsies is a sensitive and specific tool for the diagnosis of gastrointestinal HCMV diseases in AIDS patients.