Quantitative analysis of Epstein-Barr virus load by using a real-time PCR assay

Hiroshi Kimura, Makoto Morita, Yumi Yabuta, Kiyotaka Kuzushima, Koji Kato, Seiji Kojima, Takaharu Matsuyama, Tsuneo Morishima

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Abstract

To measure the virus load in patients with symptomatic Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infections, we used a real-time PCR assay to quantify the amount of EBV DNA in blood. The real-time PCR assay could detect from 2 to over 107 copies of EBV DNA with a wide linear range. We estimated the virus load in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNC) from patients with symptomatic EBV infections. The mean EBV-DNA copy number in the PBMNC was 103.7 copies/μg of DNA in patients with EBV-related lymphoproliferative disorders, 104.1 copies/μg of DNA in patients with chronic active EBV infections, and 102.2 copies/μg of DNA in patients with infectious mononucleosis. These numbers were significantly larger than those in either posttransplant patients or immunocompetent control patients without EBV-related diseases. In a patient with infectious mononucleosis, the virus load decreased as the symptoms resolved. The copy number of EBV DNA in PBMNC from symptomatic EBV infections was correlated with the EBV-positive cell number determined by the in situ hybridization assay (r = 0.842; P < 0.0001). These results indicate that the real-time PCR assay is useful for diagnosing symptomatic EBV infection and for monitoring the virus load.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-136
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Volume37
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology (medical)

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    Kimura, H., Morita, M., Yabuta, Y., Kuzushima, K., Kato, K., Kojima, S., Matsuyama, T., & Morishima, T. (1999). Quantitative analysis of Epstein-Barr virus load by using a real-time PCR assay. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 37(1), 132-136. https://doi.org/10.1128/jcm.37.1.132-136.1999