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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2000 Nov;26(10):1097-102.

Respiratory viral infections in primary immune deficiencies: significance and relevance to clinical outcome in a single BMT unit.

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Children's BMT Unit, Newcastle General Hospital, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK.


Respiratory viral infections are major causes of morbidity and mortality in children with SCID and other primary immunodeficiencies who require BMT. Twenty-two of 73 (30%) such children were admitted with respiratory viral infections, of whom 13/22 (59%) died. All viruses were detected in nasopharyngeal aspirate (NPA). Virus was only found in BAL in those with LRTI. Eleven of 22 (50%) had paramyxovirus infections, all with severe viral pneumonitis which worsened post BMT. Five of 11 (45.5%) survived overall. All 11 received aerosolised ribavirin; five of 11 received additional inhaled immunoglobulin and corticosteroid. Three of 5 (60%) survived compared with two of six (33.3%) not thus treated. Three of 22 (13.6%) had adenoviruses; one died of disseminated disease, including pneumonia despite intravenous ribavirin. Eleven patients had rhinovirus detected; nine of 11 (82%) were asymptomatic or coryzal and survived. Two patients with additional severe lung pathologies had LRT rhinovirus and died. All patients received intravenous immunoglobulin. No treatments resulted in viral clearance without successful T cell engraftment. Respiratory viruses, particularly paramyxoviruses and adenoviruses are common, significant pathogens in these patients, significantly worsening outcome of BMT. NPA is an ideal specimen for diagnosis and monitoring of infection. Aggressive treatments may reduce viral replication and damage. Nebulised immunoglobulin and corticosteroid in LRTI may improve respiratory function and outcome.

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