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2008 | 56 | 3 | 201-206

Article title

Prevalence of human herpesvirus 6 antibodies and DNA in allogeneic stem cell transplant patients: two-year single centre experience

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Human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) has been recognized as a potentially significant pathogen in hemopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients. Different clinical manifestations have been described, including fever, skin rash, bone marrow suppression, and encephalitis. Materials and Methods: A retrospective review of a group of 26 adult recipients of allogeneic HSCTs was conducted. Serum samples taken before transplant were examined for the presence of specific anti-HHV-6 IgM and IgG antibodies. After transplantation, quantitative real-time PCR was used to determine viral load in plasma samples from days 0?180 post-transplant. Results: HHV-6 DNA was detected in plasma samples in 8 (30%) of the 26 recipients between days 18 and 40 after transplantation. All of them developed fever of unknown origin and over 50% had graft-versus-host disease features. Three individuals from this group died during detectable HHV-6 viremia. Another two recipients showed a single positive PCR result at a later time. Infection with HHV-6 was thus confirmed in 10 (38.5%) of the 26 graft recipients. Conclusions: There is a high frequency of detectable HHV-6 viral load in stem cell transplant recipients in Poland. Further investigation to monitor HHV-6 reactivation in graft recipients will be important to improve outcome for these patients.



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Tomasz Dzieciatkowski, Chair and Department of Medical Microbiology, Medical University of Warsaw, Chalubinskiego 5, 02-004 Warsaw, Poland


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