CMV Tetramer Test


Quantify CMV Specific T cells

A complete reagent kit for the determination of CMV specific T cells from whole blood using Flow Cytometry. Human Cytomegalovirus (hCMV) is a common virus that infects over 40% of the population, it remains latent in healthy individuals and presents when those individuals are immunocompromised. An absolute CD8+T cell count is established with counting beads; tetramer binding T-lymphocytes are fluorescently measured to characterize CMV infection.

Work Flow

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Human Cytomegalovirus is present within 50 - 80% of the population within the Unites States and 40% of the population worldwide.  hCMV is most prevalent in developing countries and areas with lower socioeconomic conditions, it is the leading cause of birth defects in infants.  CMV testing is crucial for the following groups:

  • Allogenic Stem Cell or Organ Transplant Patients
  • Immunocompomised patients with AIDS/HIV
  • Elderly or neonatal patients


  • Quantification of total CD8+T cells aids doctors in identifying patient risk for recurrent CMV infection.
  • Data obtained can help reduce the amount of toxic antiviral drugs prescribed to patients.

Current assays based on PCR and antigen-detection can analyze viral burden and detect a CMV-reactivation, however, they cannot assess reactivity against CMV since there is no information regarding CMV specific T cells. CD8 T cells are the main control against CMV-viremia and sufficient levels of CMV-specific CD8 T cells are found to protect against CMV-disease.

Tetramers are soluble fluorescent HLA-Peptide probes. The multivalent nature of the Tetramers increases the stability and results in stable binding to the corresponding T cells. Several studies with tetramers have firmly established the presence of CMV-specific T cells in blood of patients as the best marker for protection against CMV-disease. Combined with the viral load information obtained from a standard PCR test, the CMV tetramer test yield important information for patient management. This information could help with the optimization of anti-viral use and lead to better patient outcomes.

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