Assessment of adenovirus infection in adult lung transplant recipients using molecular surveillance.

Humar A, Doucette K, Kumar D, Pang XL, Lien D, Jackson K, Preiksaitis J.

J Heart Lung Transplant. 2006 Dec;25(12):1441-6. doi: 10.1016/j.healun.2006.09.015. Epub 2006 Oct 30.

BACKGROUND: Little is known about adenovirus infections in adult lung transplant recipients. Because the virus can establish latency, re-activation may be relatively common after transplantation. METHODS: We assessed adenovirus infection in 80 adult lung transplant recipients. Adenovirus polymerase chain reaction (real-time PCR assay; limit of detection approximately 25 copies/ml plasma) was done on plasma samples collected at regular intervals until 1 year post-transplant. RESULTS: Adenovirus DNA was detected in 18 of 80 patients (22.5%) and in 19 of 595 (3.4%) plasma samples up to 12 months post-transplant. Median time to detection of viremia was 134 days post-transplant (range 1 to 370 days). Median viral load was 180 copies/ml plasma (range 50 to 360 copies/ml). Symptoms were evaluated at the time of adenovirus detection: 14 of 18 (78%) patients were asymptomatic; 4 of 18 (22%) patients had otherwise unexplained febrile/flu-like illness that resolved spontaneously. Adenovirus was not found to be a trigger for acute rejection. No detrimental effect on pulmonary function was seen immediately after adenovirus infection. CONCLUSIONS: Adenovirus viremia is common in adult lung transplant recipients. In contrast to findings on adenoviral pneumonitis in lung transplant recipients, isolated episodes of low-level viremia are self-limited and do not trigger acute rejection or a decline in pulmonary function.

PMID: 17178339

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.