Clinical utility of CD4+ function assessment (ViraCor-IBT ImmuKnow test) in lung recipients

Davide Piloni, Sara Magni, Tiberio Oggionni, Alberto Benazzo, Giulia Stella, Luigia Scudeller, Monica Morosini, Emanuela Cova, Federica Meloni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ImmuKnow assay measures cell-mediated immunity, quantifying ATP production from peripheral blood CD4 + T-cells in solid-organ transplant patients who undergo immunosuppressive therapy. We aimed to measure functional immunity in lung transplant recipients and correlate Immuknow values with immunosuppression levels, presence of chronic lung allograft dysfunction (CLAD) and infections. We evaluated 61 lung recipients who underwent follow-up for lung transplantation between 2010 and 2014. Rejection and infection were retrospectively analyzed. The association between over-immunosuppression and a number of predictors was assessed by means of univariate and multivariate logistic regression models. 71 out of 127 samples (56%) showed an over-immunosuppression with an ImmuKnow assay mean level of 112.92 ng/ml (SD ± 58.2), vs. 406.14 ng/ml (SD ± 167.7) of the rest of our cohort. In the over-immunosuppression group we found 51 episodes of infection (71%) (OR 2.754, 95% CI 1.40-5.39; P-value 0.003). In the other group, only 25 samples (44%) were taken during an infectious episode. The mean absolute ATP level was significantly different between patients with or without infection (202.38 ± 139.06 ng/ml vs. 315.51 ± 221.60 ng/ml; P <0.001). RAS (Restrictive allograft syndrome) was associated to low ImmuKnow level (P <0.001). These results were confirmed by the multivariate analysis. The ImmuKnow assay levels were significantly lower in infected lung transplant recipients compared with non-infected recipients and in RAS patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-39
Number of pages5
JournalTransplant Immunology
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2016


  • ImmuKnow
  • Immune monitoring
  • Infection
  • Lung transplantation
  • Rejection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation


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