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CMV Quantitative PCR (Viral Load)



Nucleic acid amplification assay for the detection and quantification of Cytomegalovirus (CMV) DNA extracted from whole blood.

The assay used detects a specific target in the exon 4 region of the CMV MIEA gene (major immediate early antigen.)


Diagnosis / Monitoring of CMV infection in immunocompromised / transplant patients


CMV is a double stranded DNA virus of the Herpesvirus family; it is a common infection (seroprevalence indicates 50-60% of adults in the UK have been infected.) CMV infection is typically unnoticed in healthy people, but can be life threatening for immunocompromised or immunosuppressed patients, such as organ transplant recipients.


Whole blood (collected in EDTA)

Specimen Container

EDTA (pink top) 5ml

How to Request On EPIC

For electronic requesting using EPIC (RDUH ONLY):

Search for: ‘CMV (Cytomegalovirus) Quantitative PCR‘ or test code ‘LAB9239

Special Instructions

Please state type of immunosuppression in the clinical details e.g. transplant patient

Urgent Specimen Instructions

Please contact the laboratory to discuss any urgent requests.


Processed locally in Microbiology at RDUH

Processing Time

5 days


CMV viral loads will be reported in IU/ml and where appropriate a log will be given.

Lower limit of detection 109 IU/ml

Lower limit of quantification 178 IU/ml

Upper Limit of Quantitation 100,000,000 IU / mL

(Please note, we no longer report copies/mL – 1 IU/mL equals approximately 1.4 copies/mL)


ELITech ELITe BeGenius

Useful Links

For Patients

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) – Lab Tests Online UK

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) – NHS

For Healthcare Professionals

Cytomegalovirus – Patient.info


Specimen Labelling Procedure
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