Medical Microbiology and Immunology

, Volume 208, Issue 1, pp 69–80 | Cite as

Role of pentamer complex-specific and IgG subclass 3 antibodies in HCMV hyperimmunoglobulin and standard intravenous IgG preparations

  • Matthias Stefan Schampera
  • Jose Arellano-Galindo
  • Karl Oliver Kagan
  • Stuart P. Adler
  • Gerhard Jahn
  • Klaus HamprechtEmail author
Original Investigation



HCMV hyperimmunoglobulin-preparations (HIG) contain high concentrations of HCMV-specific IgG. The reduced maternofetal-HCMV-transmission rate of IgG may be due to HCMV-specific neutralizing antibodies against the HCMV pentameric complex (PC). In contrast to HIG, standard intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) may have more neutralization (NT) capacity than HIG due to higher IgG subclass 3 levels (Planitzer et al., 2011).


We investigated the HCMV-specific NT-capacity of HIG Cytotect®, using a recombinant pentameric complex (gHgLUL128-131A) for specific antibody-depletion. We used a modified UL130-peptide (TANQNPSPPWSKLTYSKPH) based on original-sequence of Saccoccio et al. (Vaccine 29(15):2705–2711, 2011) (SWSTLTANQNPSPPWSKLTY) as neutralization target. Both UL130-peptides and the PC were bound via sixfold HisTag and anti-HisTag mAbs to magnetic beads to deplete HCMV-specific IgGs from HIG (Cytotect®). Modifying this depletion strategy, we analyzed the role of IgG subclass 3 in both HIG and IVIG.


After CMV IgG-normalization of HIG and IVIG, we found a significant trend towards a decrease (16%) of neutralization-capacity for the UL130 TAN-peptide, but not for the original UL130 SWS-peptide. However, highly significant loss of NT-capacity could be only observed by PC depletion (42%). The IgG subclass 3 depletion revealed no significant reduction of NT-capacity in both HIG and IVIG.


Via specific antibody depletion, we could demonstrate that pentameric complex-specific antibodies are present in HIG and bind to the recombinant PC resulting in a highly significant reduction of NT-capacity compared to the UL130 TAN-and SWS-peptides. We could not confirm the functional role of IgG subclass 3 neutralizing antibodies in IgG-preparations.


Cytomegalovirus CMV Hyperimmunoglobulin HIG Pentameric complex gHgLUL128-131 Neutralizing antibodies IgG subclass 3 



MS received a Grant from Biotest AG, Preclinical Research (Dr. M Germer). Cytotect® was provided from Biotest AG. We thank Wioleta Kapis for her excellent technical assistance and for providing sera from the Tuebingen congenital CMV study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Maternal sera at birth were derived from the Tuebingen congenital CMV study, approved by our local Ethics Committee at the University Hospital of Tuebingen; EK number 506/2015BO2. Each mother enrolled in the cCMV study was informed about the study design and has given signed permission using her serum for CMV serology.

Supplementary material

430_2018_558_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (434 kb)
Supplemental Material Figure 1: Prediction of the epitopes through bioinformatics analysis by the use of two computer servers (A and B). The epitope was selected from position 33 to 51 with optimal physical chemical properties (C). Supplemental Material Figure 2: Structural similarities were observed, comparing our predicted 3D model and a previously reported crystalized model [36] (PPTX 434 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Medical VirologyUniversity Hospital of TuebingenTübingenGermany
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynaecologyUniversity Hospital of TuebingenTübingenGermany
  3. 3.Infectious Diseases Laboratory (Virology)Children’s Hospital Federico GómezMéxico CityMexico
  4. 4.CMV Research FoundationRichmondUSA

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