Cytomegalovirus (CMV) antibodies, IgM and IgG

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a member of the Herpesviridae family of viruses and usually causes asymptomatic infection after which it remains latent in patients, primarily within bone marrow derived cells. Primary CMV infection in immunocompetent individuals may also manifest as a mononucleosis-type syndrome, similar to primary Epstein-Barr virus infection, with fever, malaise and lymphadenopathy.

A negative cytomegalovirus (CMV) IgM results suggest that the patient is not experiencing a recent infection. However, a negative result does not rule out primary CMV infection.

It has been reported that CMV-specific IgM antibodies were not detectable in 10% to 30% of cord blood sera from infants demonstrating infection in the first week of life. In addition, up to 23% (3/13) of pregnant women with primary CMV infection did not demonstrate detectable CMV IgM responses within 8 weeks post-infection. In cases of primary infection where the time of seroconversion is not well defined as high as 28% (10/36) of pregnant women did not demonstrate CMV IgM antibody.

Positive CMV IgM results indicate a recent infection (primary, reactivation, or reinfection). IgM antibody responses in secondary (reactivation) CMV infections have been demonstrated in some CMV mononucleosis patients, in a few pregnant women, and in renal and cardiac transplant patients. Levels of antibody may be lower in transplant patients with secondary rather than primary infections.

Positive CMV IgG results indicate past or recent CMV infection. These individuals may transmit CMV to susceptible individuals through blood and tissue products.

Individuals with negative CMV IgG results are presumed to not have had prior exposure or infection with CMV, and are therefore considered susceptible to primary infection.

Equivocal CMV IgM or IgG results may occur during acute infection or may be due to non-specific binding reactions. Submit an additional sample for testing if clinically indicated.

  • Sample of blood serum
  • We perform the test daily