Author(s): SalmonCron D, Mazeron MC, Chaput S, Boukli N, Senechal B,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To study the natural history and the current risk factors for cytomegalovirus (CMV) disease in the context of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). SETTING: Prospective multicentre cohort in 15 university hospitals in France. METHODS: A group of 198 patients with CD4 cell count < 100 x 10(6) cells/l (or < 200 x 10(6) cells/l under HAART for at least 2 months), no previous CMV disease and CMV-positive serology were followed every 4 months clinically and for virological testing including HIV RNA and CMV blood markers (culture, pp65 antigenaemia, plasma CMV DNA and CMV late mRNA by the polymerase chain reaction). RESULTS: At inclusion, median CD4 was 77 x 10(6) cells/l (0-308) and 85\% of the patients received protease inhibitors. The percentage of patients receiving HAART reached 99\% at 12 months. After a follow-up of 23.6 months, the incidence of CMV disease was 3.2/100 patient-years [95\% confidence interval (CI) 1.3-5.0]. In univariate Cox models, all the CMV markers, a CD4 cell count remaining < 75 x 10(6) cells/l and an HIV viral load > 100,000 copies/ml were predictive for CMV disease. The hazard ratios for CMV disease were 11 for blood culture; 14 and 70 for pp65 antigenaemia of > or = 1 and > or = 100 nuclei/200,000 cells, respectively; 35 for plasma CMV DNA; 6 for CMV mRNA; 29 for CD4 < 75 x 10(6) cells/l; and 12 for HIV RNA > 100,000 copies/ml. In a stepwise multivariate analysis, only three covariates were independently associated with the occurrence of a disease: plasma CMV DNA, pp65 antigenaemia > or = 100 nuclei/200,000 cells and a CD4 count < 75 x 10(6) cells/l. CONCLUSION: CMV blood markers and CD4 count < 75 x 10(6) cells/l remain risk factors for CMV disease in patients receiving HAART. Analysis of plasma CMV DNA by the polymerase chain reaction is a reproducible and standardized tool that could be used as a decision marker for initiating CMV pre-emptive therapy.
This article was published in AIDS
and referenced in Virology & Mycology