Epidemiology, Outcome and Risk Factors Analysis of Viral Infections in Children and Adolescents Undergoing Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation: Antiviral Drugs Do Not Prevent Epstein-Barr Virus Reactivation.

Research paper by Krzysztof K Czyzewski, Magdalena M Dziedzic, Malgorzata M Salamonowicz, Jowita J Fraczkiewicz, Olga O Zajac-Spychala, Agnieszka A Zaucha-Prazmo, Jolanta J Gozdzik, Przemyslaw P Galazka, Natalia N Bartoszewicz, Ewa E Demidowicz, Jan J Styczynski

Indexed on: 28 Nov '21Published on: 08 Jan '20Published in: Infection and drug resistance


The analysis of epidemiology, risk factors and outcome of viral infections in children and adolescents after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). In this multicenter nationwide study a total of 971 HCT procedures (741 allo-HCT; 230 auto-HCT) over a period of 6 years were analyzed. During this period 801 episodes of viral infections were diagnosed in 442 patients. The incidence of viral infections was 57.9% in allo-HCT and 4.8% in auto-HCT patients. The most frequent infections after allo-HCT were caused by cytomegalovirus (CMV), polyoma BK virus (BKV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). The majority of infections occurred within the first 4 months after allo-HCT and over 80% required pharmacotherapy or symptomatic therapy. The median time of treatment of specific viral infection ranged from 7 (for EBV) to 24 (for CMV) days. The highest mortality was observed in case of CMV infection. The risk factors for viral infections were allo-HCT, acute leukemia, acute and chronic graft versus host disease (a/cGVHD), and matched unrelated donor (MUD)/mismatched unrelated donor (MMUD)-HCT. The risk factor for death from viral infection were CMV-IgG seropositivity in acute lymphoblastic leukemia recipient, and MUD/MMUD-HCT. The incidence of EBV infection requiring pre-emptive treatment with rituximab in allo-HCT children was 19.3%. In 30.8% cases of EBV infection, these episodes were preceded by other viral infection and treated with antivirals, which did not prevent development of EBV-DNA-emia with need of rituximab treatment in 81.5% cases. In 47.7% of these cases, GVHD was a factor enabling development of significant EBV-DNA-emia during antiviral therapy of other infection. We have shown that antiviral drugs do not prevent EBV reactivation in allo-HCT pediatric patients. © 2019 Czyzewski et al.

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