Health topic

Cytomegalovirus (CMV)

Consistent testing for improved patient care

A widespread virus


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a common virus found in people of all ages—more than half of all adults have been infected by the age of 40.1 CMV is carried latently for life and can be reactivated.


Weakened immune systems are more susceptible


While the virus generally does not cause problems for those with healthy, functioning immune systems, it can have serious consequences for immunocompromised people.

Some 20%-60% of solid organ transplant recipients develop a symptomatic CMV infection, typically during the first few months after transplantation.2 Patients can be infected through the donor organ, or the virus can be reactivated if previously present.


CMV assays clinicians can rely on


Reactivation of CMV after a transplant can be detected quickly and treated using antiviral drugs. When it comes to successfully manageing the infection and helping transplant patients enjoy long, healthy lives, consistency in test results plays a vital role.

Roche is committed to helping deter the spread and reactivation of the Cytomegalovirus and provides WHO-standardised assays to detect and monitor the progression of CMV infections.


Informing effective CMV management


CMV infection is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in patients following transplantation. Calibrating and reporting CMV DNA viral load in International Units per milliliter (IU/mL) has improved harmonization of results from different laboratories. However, management of active CMV infection is still hampered by limited commutability of results between reference materials and clinical samples, and a subsequent lack of evidence-based viral load thresholds.


  1. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Congenital CMV Infection. Accessed Nov 3, 2016.
  2. Emovon OE, Baillie GM, Rajagopalan PR, Chavin, KD. Infections after kidney transplantation. CME Coverage, based on Renal Week 2002: American Society of Nephrology 35th Annual Meeting. Accessed December 13, 2016. Medscape Transplantation. 2002.
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