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Clin Infect Dis. 2002 Oct 15;35(8):974-81. Epub 2002 Sep 26.

The pathogenesis of hepatitis C virus is influenced by cytomegalovirus.

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Division of Infectious Diseases and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


We investigated the effect of beta-herpesviruses on allograft failure and mortality, hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication, and liver histologic characteristics among 92 HCV-infected liver transplant recipients. Reactivation of cytomegalovirus (CMV) but not of human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) was independently associated with allograft failure and mortality (risk ratio, 3.71; 95% confidence interval, 1.64-8.39); allograft failure and mortality was observed in 48% of patients with CMV disease, 35% of patients with subclinical CMV infection, and 17% of patients without CMV infection (P=.0275). CMV reactivation was highly predictive of mortality (P<.001), regardless of whether it remained subclinical or evolved into CMV disease. Patients with CMV disease had a higher fibrosis stage (P=.05) and had a trend toward a higher hepatitis activity index (P=.10) and HCV load (P=.10) at 16 weeks after liver transplantation. The pathogenesis of HCV is influenced by its interaction with CMV but not with HHV-6.

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