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Low Interferon Relative-Response to Cytomegalovirus Is Associated with Low Likelihood of Intrauterine Transmission of the Virus.

Eldar-Yedidia Y., Bar-Meir M., Hillel M., Abitbol G., Broide E., Falk R., Assous M., Schlesinger Y.

Congenital Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a very common intrauterine infection which can cause severe mental and hearing impairments. Notably, only 40% of primarily infected women transmit CMV to the fetus. CMV-specific T-cell response has a role in CMV disease but individual immune heterogeneity precludes reliable correlation between measurable T-cells response and intrauterine transmission.To establish a correlation between maternal T-cells response and fetal CMV transmission using an individual normalized immune response.We analyzed IFN-γ secretion upon whole blood stimulation from primary CMV-infected pregnant women, with either CMV-peptides or PHA-mitogen.We established a new normalization method of individual IFN-γ response to CMV by defining the ratio between specific-CMV response and non-specific mitogen response (defined as IFN-γ relative response, RR), aiming to overcome high person-to-person immune variability. We found a unique subpopulation of women with low IFN-γ RR strongly correlated with absence of transmission. IFN-γ RR lower than 1.8% (threshold determined by ROC analysis) reduces the pre-test probability of transmission from 40% to 8%, revealing an unexpected link between low IFN-γ RR and non-transmission.In pregnant women with primary CMV infection, low IFN-γ RR is associated with low risk of transmission.

PLoS ONE 11:e0147883-e0147883(2016) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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