Rapid ganciclovir susceptibility assay using flow cytometry for human cytomegalovirus clinical isolates

James J. McSharry, Nell S. Lurain, George L. Drusano, Alan L. Landay, Mostafa Notka, Maurice R.G. O'Gorman, Adriana Weinberg, Howard M. Shapiro, Patricia S. Reichelderfer, Clyde S. Crumpacker

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27 Scopus citations


Rapid, quantitative, and objective determination of the susceptibilities of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) clinical isolates to ganciclovir has been assessed by an assay that uses a fluorochrome-labeled monoclonal antibody to an HCMV immediate-early antigen and flow cytometry. Analysis of the ganciclovir susceptibilities of 25 phenotypically characterized clinical isolates by flow cytometry demonstrated that the 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50s) of ganciclovir for 19 of the isolates were between 1.14 and 6.66 μM, with a mean of 4.32 μM (±1.93) (sensitive; IC50 less than 7 μM), the IC50s for 2 isolates were 8.48 and 9.79 μM (partially resistant), and the IC50s for 4 isolates were greater than 96 μM (resistant). Comparative analysis of the drug susceptibilities of these clinical isolates by the plaque reduction assay gave IC50s of less than 6 μM, with a mean of 2.88 μM (±1.40) for the 19 drug-sensitive isolates, IC50s of 6 to 8 μM for the partially resistant isolates, and IC50s of greater than 12 μM for the four resistant clinical isolates. Comparison of the IC50s for the drug-susceptible and partially resistant clinical isolates obtained by the flow cytometry assay with the IC50s obtained by the plaque reduction assay showed an acceptable correlation (r2 = 0.473; P = 0.001), suggesting that the flow cytometry assay could substitute for the more labor-intensive, subjective, and time-consuming plaque reduction assay.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2326-2331
Number of pages6
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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