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J Infect Dis. 2002 Feb 1;185(3):273-82. Epub 2002 Jan 17.

High risk of death due to bacterial and fungal infection among cytomegalovirus (CMV)-seronegative recipients of stem cell transplants from seropositive donors: evidence for indirect effects of primary CMV infection.

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  • 1Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98109-4417, USA.


The impact of cytomegalovirus (CMV) serostatus (seropositive [(+)] or seronegative [(-)]) of the donor (D) and recipient (R) on mortality after allogeneic non-T cell-depleted stem cell transplantation (SCT) in the era of preemptive therapy was assessed among 1750 patients by means of multivariable Cox regression models. In an analysis that included only pre-SCT variables, D(+)/R(+) and D(+)/R(-) patients had the highest risk for mortality. After neutropenia or the occurrence of CMV disease was controlled for, only D(+)/R(-) patients remained at a significantly higher risk for mortality. Mortality due to bacteremia or invasive fungal infection was higher among D(+)/R(-) (18.3%) than D(-)/R(-) (9.7%) patients (P <.001). Thus, CMV serostatus remains associated with mortality; neutropenia due to ganciclovir administration and CMV disease explain the association with mortality among seropositive recipients. However, in D(+)/R(-) subjects, mortality appears to be associated with bacterial and fungal infection, indicating a possible immunomodulatory effect of primary CMV infection that was undetected despite intensive monitoring.

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