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Antivir Ther. 2009;14(5):697-704.

Cytomegalovirus resistance in solid organ transplant recipients treated with intravenous ganciclovir or oral valganciclovir.

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Infectious Disease Research Center of the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec, Québec City, QC, Canada.



The rate of cytomegalovirus (CMV) mutations conferring ganciclovir resistance was assessed in a trial comparing intravenous ganciclovir and oral valganciclovir for treatment of CMV disease in solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients.


Viral genes (UL97 and UL54) conferring ganciclovir resistance were amplified and sequenced from blood samples collected at days 0 (before therapy), 21 (end of induction) and 49 (end of maintenance).


The overall risk of developing a confirmed or probable ganciclovir resistance mutation during treatment was similar for patients treated with ganciclovir (2.3%) and valganciclovir (3.6%; P=0.51). A persistent viral load at day 21 was associated with a significant risk of ganciclovir resistance by day 49 (odds ratio 11.83; P=0.022). In multivariate analyses, presence of a confirmed ganciclovir resistance mutation was independently associated with virological failure (viral load > or =600 copies/ml) at days 21 and 49. One-third (3/9) of patients with confirmed CMV resistance mutations had recurrent CMV disease. The plasma half-life of confirmed ganciclovir-resistant UL97 mutants was significantly longer than that of wild-type strains, polymorphic variants and strains with mutations of unknown significance (P=0.045). Multiple UL54 mutations of unknown significance were found in clinical strains. Viral kinetic analysis of these latter strains revealed no effect (negative or positive) on in vivo viral fitness.


Treatment with oral valganciclovir or intravenous ganciclovir results in similar and low rates of resistance mutations in SOT recipients. Patients with drug-resistant CMV strains often have virological failure and might have unfavourable clinical outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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