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Bone Marrow Transplant. 2003 Jul;32(1):73-7.

Respiratory viral infections after bone marrow/peripheral stem-cell transplantation: the Christie hospital experience.

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Department of Microbiology, Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester, UK.


Respiratory virus infections are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in bone marrow transplant patients. A retrospective study was performed on the bone marrow transplant unit at the Christie Hospital Manchester. The aim of this study was to determine the frequency, clinical presentation, laboratory diagnosis, types of intervention (eg antiviral agents used) and the outcome of such infections in this cohort of transplant recipients. Data were collected from a total of 626 adult patients and showed 27 patients with 29 confirmed episodes of viral respiratory tract infections. The viruses present were rhinovirus (40%), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) (22.2%), influenza A (18.5%), parainfluenza (PIV) (14.8%) and enteroviruses (7.4%). The overall frequency of documented respiratory virus infections was 4.3% during the 5-year period of the study. The prevalence of respiratory viral infections was 7.8% among allogeneic and 2.3% among autologous transplant recipients. The frequency of lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) was 3.0% among allogeneic and 1.3% among autologous transplant recipients. Eight patients died (seven had allogeneic transplants). Three of these deaths were directly attributable to a respiratory viral infection (two rhinoviruses; one PIV 3). This study further supports the role played by human respiratory viruses in transplant-associated morbidity and mortality, and particularly highlights the significance of rhinovirus infections.

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