Background: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a prevalent herpesvirus with links to both stress and aging. This paper describes and validates a minimally invasive method for assessing antibodies against CMV in finger stick whole blood spot samples for use as an indirect marker of an aspect of cell-mediated immunity.Results: Analysis of CMV in dried blood spot samples (DBS) was based on modifications of a commercially available protocol for quantifying CMV antibodies in serum or plasma. The method was evaluated through analysis of precision, reliability, linearity, and correlation between matched serum and DBS samples collected from 75 volunteers. Correlation between DBS and plasma values was linear and high (Pearson correlation R = .96), and precision, reliability, and linearity of the DBS assay were within acceptable ranges.Conclusions: The validity of a DBS assay for CMV antibodies will enable its inclusion in population-based surveys and other studies collecting DBS samples in non-clinical settings, increasing scientific understanding of the interaction of social and biological stress and immune function.
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