Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Cell-Mediated Immunity and CMV Infection after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation: The REACT Study

Roy F. Chemaly, Lynn El Haddad, Drew J. Winston, Scott D. Rowley, Kathleen M. Mulane, Pranatharthi Chandrasekar, Robin K. Avery, Parameswaran Hari, Karl S. Peggs, Deepali Kumar, Rajneesh Nath, Per Ljungman, Sherif B. Mossad, Sanjeet S. Dadwal, Ted Blanchard, Dimpy P. Shah, Ying Jiang, Ella Ariza-Heredia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Background: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality in allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant (allo-HCT) recipients. CMV cell-mediated immunity (CMV-CMI) as determined by a peptide-based enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) CMV assay may identify patients at risk for clinically significant CMV infection (CS-CMVi). Methods: The CS-CMVi was defined as CMV viremia and/or disease necessitating antiviral therapy. CMV-CMI was characterized as high when the intermediate-early 1 (IE-1) antigen spot counts (SPCs) were >100 (cutoff 1) or when the IE-1 and phosphoprotein 65 antigen SPCs were both >100 SPCs per 250 000 cells (cutoff 2), and a low CMV-CMI when SPCs were below these thresholds. In this prospective multicenter study, we evaluated CMV-CMI every 2 weeks from the pretransplant period until 6 months posttransplantation in 241 allo-HCT recipients with positive CMV serostatus. The primary endpoint was CS-CMVi occurring within 2 weeks of the last measurement of CMV-CMI. Results: CS-CMVi occurred in 70 allo-HCT recipients (29%). CMV-CMI was low in patients who experienced CS-CMVi (94%), whereas those who had a high CMV-CMI were less likely to have CS-CMVi (P < .0001). Patients with CS-CMVi had higher all-cause mortality (P = .007), especially those with low CMV-CMI (P = .035). On multivariable analysis, CMV-CMI, sex, race, antithymocyte globulin, and steroid use were independent predictors of CS-CMVi, and the time from transplant to engraftment was the only predictor of mortality. Conclusions: Measurement of CMV-CMI using a novel ELISPOT assay would be useful clinically to monitor allo-HCT recipients and distinguish between those at risk of developing CS-CMVi and requiring antiviral prophylaxis or therapy and those who are protected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2365-2374
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020


  • CMV ELISPOT assay
  • cell-mediated immunity
  • cytomegalovirus
  • hematopoietic cell transplant
  • multicenter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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