Immune response to CMV in solid organ transplant recipients: Current concepts and future directions

Richard R. Watkins, Tracy L. Lemonovich, Raymund R. Razonable

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Despite advances in immunosuppression and antiviral therapy, CMV continues to be a significant opportunistic pathogen adversely affecting the outcome of solid organ transplantation (SOT) recipients. While a significant proportion of CMV disease is caused by reactivation of latent virus, the risk is highest among CMV donor+ and recipient- SOT patients. CMV is responsible for both direct (e.g., pneumonitis, colitis) and indirect (e.g., rejection, atherosclerosis) morbidity and mortality. Healthy CMV-seropositive individuals have a high frequency of CMV-specific CD4 + and CD8 + T cells that provide immune protection by limiting CMV reactivation and replication. Changes to the innate and adaptive immune system from immunosuppressive therapy following SOT contribute to CMV disease pathogenesis. CMV disease after SOT is associated with poorer outcomes, thus novel strategies to prevent it are an area of active research. In this article, we review the current state of knowledge on the immune response to CMV following SOT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)383-393
Number of pages11
JournalExpert review of clinical immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2012


  • CMV
  • Toll-like receptor
  • adaptive immunity
  • antibody
  • innate immunity
  • transplantation
  • vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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