Investigation of Ganciclovir Resistance in Cytomegalovirus Isolates by Phenotypic and Genotypic Methods

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Sarinoglu R. C., ÇOLAK D., KÜPESİZ O. A., Kuskucu M. A., Yalcin K., SAĞLIK İ., ...More

MIKROBIYOLOJI BULTENI, vol.57, no.3, pp.401-418, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 57 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.5578/mb.20239933
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.401-418
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Ganciclovir-resistant cytomegalovirus (CMV) strains are reported following long-term antiviral agent use, especially for immune-suppressive patients. In this study, it was aimed to investigate the mutations in the UL97 gene of CMV, which causes ganciclovir (GCV) resistance by genotypic and phenotypic methods in patients who developed CMV infection following hematopoietic cell (HCT) or solid organ transplantation (SOT). Thirty patients who had HCT or SOT in Mediterranean University Hospital and developed CMV infection during routine follow-up with a viral load of CMV over 1000 copies/mL were included in the study. CMV DNA was analyzed by an automated system (Cobas Ampliprep/COBAS TaqMan CMV Test, Roche Diagnostics, Germany) quantitatively. DNA sequence analysis of the regions including codons 420-664 in the UL97 gene region was done by the Sanger sequencing method to detect mutations causing antiviral resistance and compared with defined mutations. In order to investigate antiviral resistance by phenotypic methods, heparinized blood samples of the patients were collected, 'buffy coat (leukocyte layer)' was inoculated into MRC-5 cells by centrifugation method and CMV growth in these cells was controlled with monoclonal antibodies when growth was detected, virus titer was determined and plaque reduction test was applied as recommended. It was determined that 22 of the 30 patients were HCT recipients and eight were SOT (five kidney, three liver) recipients. When the CMV serology pattern of the patients was evaluated before transplantation, 29 (96.7%) patients were found to be seropositive and one (3.3%) patient was found to be seronegative. Totally, nine CMV UL97 mutations were detected in seven (23.3%) pediatric patients who had HCT, including six seropositive and one seronegative case. In addition, one mutation (D605E) not known to cause GCV resistance was detected in a seronegative recipient and three previously unidentified mutations were detected (1474T, F499S, V559A) in a seronegative recipient. Five of the mutations defined were UL97 mutations with a defined clinical resistance against GCV in each of the five recipients (C603W, C592G, H520Q, M460V, A594T). In the plaque reduction test using 3 mu M, 12 mu M, 48 mu M and 96 mu M concentrations of GCV in CMV strains, the IC50 value was determined to be >= 8 mu M for the five CMV strains, and the phenotypic presence of GCV resistance was shown. Clinical resistance associated with CMV UL97 mutation was detected in five (22.7%) of 22 patients who had HCT. GCV resistance was also demonstrated in these patients by phenotypic methods. No UL97 mutation was detected in the patients who had SOT.