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We have previously shown that the binding of host beta 2 microglobulin (beta 2 m) by cytomegalovirus (CMV) in body fluids masks the viral antigenic determinants preventing its detection by CMV-specific monoclonal antibodies. We now report that the recognition of CMV-bound beta 2m by anti-beta 2m-specific antibodies in assays for beta 2m, results in erroneously high readings for beta 2m levels in urine specimens containing CMV. Urinary beta 2m levels have previously been reported to be elevated in patients with CMV infection--however, when virion bound beta 2m was removed by ultracentrifugation of urine specimens, the levels of free beta 2m were not found to be elevated in these patients. Since CMV is frequently excreted by transplant recipients and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome patients, our data suggest that measurements of urinary beta 2m levels in such patients are unreliable unless the urine specimens are confirmed to be free of CMV before analysis.


Journal article



Publication Date





1075 - 1079


Animals, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Antibody Specificity, Antigens, Viral, Binding Sites, Antibody, Binding, Competitive, Cytomegalovirus, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, Humans, Kidney Transplantation, Mice, Rabbits, Ultracentrifugation, Urine, beta 2-Microglobulin