Cmv Antibody Test

Overview & Description

This test detects the presence of antibodies in the blood tocytomegalovirus,also called CMV.

The body produces antibodiesto defend against bacteria, viruses, and other harmful foreign particles. Thebody produces large amounts of antibodies during infections. A person’s bloodcan be analyzed for particular antibodies. Their presence indicates that theperson has been exposed to that infection-causing particle.

Who is a candidate for the test?

The CMV test is performed when a doctor suspects a CMVinfection may be present. CMV usually only causes serious infections inpeople who have a weakened immune system for one of these reasons:

  • they take medicines to suppress the immune system, such as after an organtransplant
  • they have cancer or AIDS
  • How is the test performed?

    In order to test for CMV antibodies, a blood sample is needed.The blood is usually drawn from a vein in the forearm or the hand. First, theskin over the vein is cleaned with an antiseptic. Next, a strong rubber tube,called a tourniquet, is wrapped around the upper arm. This enlarges the veins inthe lower arm by restricting blood flow. A thin needle is inserted intoa vein, and the tourniquet is removed. Blood flows from the vein through theneedle and is collected in a syringe or vial. After the needle is withdrawn, thepuncture site is covered for a short time to prevent bleeding. The sample issent to the lab to be analyzed.

    Preparation & Expectations

    What is involved in preparation for the test?

    No preparation is required for this test.

    Results and Values

    What do the test results mean?

    In people who have not been infected with CMV, there are noantibodies to CMV in the blood. This is considered a negative test.

    If a person has antibodies against CMV, the test is positive.This means that a person has been infected with CMV in the past. Once aperson has had a CMV infection, the virus generally stays in the body for life.When the immune system becomes weak, the infection can sometimes return.If the infection returns, strong antibiotics may be needed to treat it.

    Article type: xmedgeneral