Human β-herpesvirus interactions in solid organ transplant recipients

J. C. Mendez, D. H. Dockrell, M. J. Espy, T. F. Smith, J. A. Wilson, W. S. Harmsen, D. Ilstrup, C. V. Paya

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147 Scopus citations


The replication of β-herpesviruses - cytomegalovirus (CMV), human herpesvirus (HHV)-6, and HHV-7 - and their association with CMV disease and response to antiviral therapy were prospectively investigated in 33 liver transplant recipients not given antiviral prophylaxis. CMV, HHV-6, and HHV-7 DNA were detected within 8 weeks after transplantation in 70%, 33%, and 42% of the patients, respectively. The univariate association between CMV disease and the 3 β-herpesviruses was more significant by virus load quantitation than by qualitative detection of DNA. This association with high levels of CMV, HHV-6, and HHV-7 (P < .001, .022, and .001, respectively) occurred mainly in CMV-seronegative recipients of transplants from CMV-seropositive donors. Antiviral therapy with ganciclovir (Gcv) reduced the load of CMV and HHV-6 and HHV-7. These results suggest that CMV disease in transplant recipients is related to the unique interaction of the 3 β-herpesviruses and is ultimately reduced after intravenous Gcv treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-184
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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