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A recent study reported that quantitation of cytomegalovirus (CMV)-specific CD8+ T lymphocytes in the graft and monitoring of these T cells might identify hematopoietic stem cell transplantation-recipients at the risk for progressive CMV infection. A 6-year-old girl underwent bone marrow transplantation from an HLA-identical sibling with a very high frequency of CMV specific tetramer-positive CD8+ T-cells. CMV-specific T-cell immunity was prospectively evaluated using a peptide (HLA-A2, NLVPMVATV). Tetramer assay showed that the frequency of CMV-specific CD8+ T cells of the donor in the peripheral blood was 5.3%, higher than average amongst young children. The frequency of CMV-specific CD8+ T cells of the donor in the graft was 3.7% of CD8+ T-cells. Before transplantation, the frequency of CMV specific CD8+ T cells of the recipient was 0.1% in the peripheral blood. Surprisingly, the frequency of CMV specific CD8+ T cells increased up to 30% of CD8+ T-cells at day 27 after transplantation. IFN-gamma enzyme-linked immunospot assay showed the recipient-T cells had strong responses to the A2-specific NLVPMVATV peptide. Although the phenotypic pattern of the CMV-specific T cells of the recipient was different from those of the donor before transplantation, the phenotype of the donor-derived cells retained their original phenotype in the recipient after transplantation. These finding suggested that active transferred immunity from the graft with a high frequency of CMV-specific CTL could induce a rapid reconstitution of CMV-specific T-cell mediated immunity in pediatric HLA-identical allogenetic bone marrow transplantation. The screening of peripheral blood using HLA-peptide tetramer staining might be beneficial to select donors.

Original publication




Journal article


J Med Virol

Publication Date





1616 - 1623


Blood Donors, Bone Marrow Transplantation, CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Child, Cytomegalovirus, Cytomegalovirus Infections, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, Female, HLA-A2 Antigen, Humans, Interferon-gamma, Phenotype, Siblings, Staining and Labeling, Transplantation, Homologous