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Lancet Infect Dis. 2003 Feb;3(2):79-86.

Adenovirus: an increasingly important pathogen in paediatric bone marrow transplant patients.

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Academic Department of Child Health, Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, London, UK.


Adenovirus is increasingly being recognised as a significant pathogen in children following bone marrow transplantation. The virus is endemic in the general paediatric population, and frequently causes severe disease in immunocompromised patients, especially children. Immune responses to adenovirus infection are not fully understood but T-cell responses appear to be important for recovery. Infections can affect a variety of organs with gastrointestinal and urinary tract diseases being the most common. When disseminated infection occurs, reported mortality rates are as high as 60%. The responses to treatment in immunocompromised patients have generally been disappointing. New molecular diagnostic techniques have meant that adenoviral infections can now be detected early, often before symptoms have developed. Clinicians now screen for adenovirus infection to allow early initiation of treatment. It is hoped that this approach, together with effective antiviral therapy, will reduce the deaths from this common virus in high-risk children.

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