BACKGROUND: We provide the results of the first interventional study of cytomegalovirus (CMV)-specific immune monitoring to direct the length of antiviral prophylaxis in lung transplantation (LTx). METHODS: Patients (n = 118) at risk of CMV infection were randomized 1:2 to either 5 months or variable length valganciclovir prophylaxis (5-11 mo post-LTx), as determined by the QuantiFERON (QFN)-CMV assay. Patients with a negative QFN-CMV assay (< 0.2 IU/mL) received prolonged valganciclovir prophylaxis. RESULTS: The primary endpoint that was the incidence of CMV infection in the lung allograft within 18 months of LTx was significantly reduced in the QFN-CMV directed arm (37% versus 58%, P = 0.03). Secondary endpoints that included blood viremia, acute rejection, and chronic lung allograft dysfunction did not differ between the 2 arms. Of the 80/118 patients who ceased antiviral prophylaxis at 5 months, the incidence of viremia (> 600 copies/mL) within the blood was significantly reduced in patients with a positive QFN-CMV assay compared with those without protective immunity (13% versus 67%, P = 0.0003), as was the incidence of severe viremia (> 10 000 copies/mL) (3% versus 50%, P < 0.001). Ceasing antiviral prophylaxis at 11 months in patients with a negative assay was associated with a 25% incidence of late CMV viremia. CONCLUSIONS: Cytomegalovirus immune monitoring allows an individualized approach to CMV prophylaxis and reduces late CMV infection within the lung allograft.