Journal Article

Adenovirus Infection after Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplantation: Is Treatment Always Necessary?

Tony Walls, Khidir Hawrami, Innes Ushiro-Lumb, Delane Shingadia, V. Saha and A. G. Shankar

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 40, issue 9, pages 1244-1249
Published in print May 2005 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online May 2005 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/429235
Adenovirus Infection after Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplantation: Is Treatment Always Necessary?

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Background. Adenovirus infections are associated with significant rates of morbidity and mortality among children after bone marrow transplantation (BMT). Many transplantation units use molecular virological methods, such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), for surveillance for adenovirus infection and give preemptive antiviral therapy to children with evidence of disseminated adenovirus infection. This treatment strategy has never been evaluated in clinical trials.

Methods. We retrospectively tested blood samples obtained from a cohort of children who had undergone BMT before the introduction of regular weekly surveillance for adenovirus infection. A total of 273 samples collected from 26 patients between May 1998 and June 2002 were tested for adenovirus infection by quantitative PCR. Virus load was quantified for each sample yielding positive test results, and the clinical notes and virological records of each child were reviewed.

Results. Evidence of adenovirus infection was found in 11 children (42%), 7 of whom had not previously had positive test results. Receipt of T cell-depleted transplants was associated with a significantly higher incidence of adenovirus infection during the posttransplantation period. The 2 children who died from adenovirus disease developed infection within 2 weeks after transplantation, and both had very low absolute lymphocyte counts at the time of diagnosis. Seven of 11 children with blood samples that were found to be positive for adenovirus by PCR cleared the virus without antiviral therapy.

Conclusions. Surveillance for adenovirus by PCR is better than symptomatic testing for detecting adenovirus infection. Antiviral therapy may not be necessary for all children who develop adenovirus viremia after BMT.

Journal Article.  2394 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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