We detected cytomegalovirus DNA in clinical urine specimens after immobilization on nitrocellulose filters and hybridization with a radioactively labeled, cloned fragment of cytomegalovirus DNA. We accomplished the specific detection and quantitation of viral DNA within 24 hours with 39 urine specimens from nine patients with cytomegalovirus viruria, mostly at a tissue-culture infective titer of 103 per milliliter or higher. None of 57 urine specimens from 21 patients that were culture-negative for cytomegalovirus gave false-positive results. Analysis of specimens from patients with cytomegalovirus viruria showed a correlation of the infective titer with the intensity of DNA hybridization (r = 0.77). Hybridization of sequential urine specimens from a patient undergoing treatment with interferon for cytomegalovirus retinitis revealed quantitative variations in hybridizable viral DNA over a period that correlated with clinical findings. This assay can be useful in the selection of patients for antiviral therapy and for the assessment of its efficacy. (N Engl J Med 1983; 308: 921–5.).
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