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eISSN: 1643-3750

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Lymphotropic herpesvirus DNA detection in patients with active CMV infection – a possible role in the course of CMV infection after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Barbara Zawilinska, Jolanta Kopec, Slawa Szostek, Beata Piatkowska-Jakubas, Aleksander B. Skotnicki, Magdalena Kosz-Vnenchak

Med Sci Monit 2011; 17(8): CR432-441

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.881904


Background:    The natural history of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and disease in transplant recipients prompts researchers to look for other factors contributing to this infection. The ubiquity of lymphotropic herpesviruses (EBV, HHV-6, and HHV-7) and the possibility of their activation during immunosuppression may suggest their participation in progression of CMV infection in patients after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT).
    Material/Methods:    The presence of CMV, EBV, HHV-6 and HHV-7 was confirmed through detection of viral DNA isolated from leukocytes. Allo-HSCT recipients (n=55) were examined repeatedly within the average period of 14±7.3 months post-transplant.
    Results:    CMV DNA was detected in 24% of samples, while EBV, HHV-6 and HHV-7 were detected in 20%, 15% and 14% of samples, respectively. Based on the presence of CMV infection at particular time-points (months) after transplantation, the recipients were divided into 3 groups: Group I (N=15) with persistent infection, Group II (N=20) with transient infection, and Group III (N=20) without CMV infection. In Group I, the mean CMV load was significantly higher than in Group II, and the clinical condition of Group I patients was poorer. All these patients manifested clinical symptoms, and all had episodes of GvHD. All Group I patients developed multiple infections; EBV in 80%, HHV-6 in 47% and HHV-7 in 87% of patients. In the remaining groups, with the exception of HHV-6 in group II, the frequency of infected patients was lower. In addition, CMV presence was often preceded by another herpesvirus.
    Conclusions:    The results suggest that other herpesviruses, mainly HHV-7, could predispose CMV to cause chronic infection.

Keywords: Herpesvirus 7, Human - genetics, Herpesvirus 6, Human - genetics, Herpesviridae Infections - etiology, Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation - adverse effects, Graft vs Host Disease, DNA, Viral - blood, Cytomegalovirus Infections - virology, Adult, Viral Load, young adult

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