To analyze persistent infection by human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) in vivo, specimens obtained from various sources and autopsied organs were examined for the presence of HCMV DNA, mRNA transcripts and antigens by polymerase chain reaction, in situ hybridization and immunostaining. The HCMV genome was detected in lung, liver, kidney, and blood vessels at an average positive rate of 15%. The highest PCR-positive rate was observed with cervical smears. Subsequent examination of uterus tissues from patients with myoma revealed HCMV transcripts and antigens in glandular epithelial cells, leukocytes, endothelial cells, and others, indicating productive HCMV infection of cervical tissue.
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