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A Journal on Internal Medicine

Indexed/Abstracted in: Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,236

Frequency: Bi-Monthly

ISSN 0026-4806

Online ISSN 1827-1669


Minerva Medica 2009 December;100(6):479-501



Viral infections in transplant recipients

Razonable R. R., Eid A. J.

Division of Infectious Diseases and Internal Medicine and William J von Liebig Transplant Center, College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic
Rochester, MN, USA

Solid organ and hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients are uniquely predisposed to develop clinical illness, often with increased severity, due to a variety of common and opportunistic viruses. Patients may acquire viral infections from the donor (donor-derived infections), from reactivation of endogenous latent virus, or from the community. Herpes viruses, most notably cytomegalovirus and Epstein Barr virus, are the most common among opportunistic viral pathogens that cause infection after solid organ and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The polyoma BK virus causes opportunistic clinical syndromes predominantly in kidney and allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients. The agents of viral hepatitis B and C present unique challenges particularly among liver transplant recipients. Respiratory viral illnesses due to influenza, respiratory syncytial virus, and parainfluenza virus may affect all types of transplant recipients, although severe clinical disease is observed more commonly among lung and allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients. Less common viral infections affecting transplant recipients include those caused by adenoviruses, parvovirus B19, and West Nile virus. Treatment for viruses with proven effective antiviral drug therapies should be complemented by reduction in the degree of immunosuppression. For others with no proven antiviral drugs for therapy, reduction in the degree of immunosuppression remains as the sole effective strategy for management. Prevention of viral infections is therefore of utmost importance, and this may be accomplished through vaccination, antiviral strategies, and aggressive infection control measures.

language: English


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