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Semin Respir Crit Care Med. 2011 Aug;32(4):454-70. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1283285. Epub 2011 Aug 19.

DNA viruses (CMV, EBV, and the herpesviruses).

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Division of Pulmonary Sciences and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Colorado at Denver Health Sciences Center, Aurora, Colorado 80045, USA.


The human Herpesviridae family consists of eight members: cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), herpes simplex virus 1 and 2 (HSV-1, -2), varicella-zoster virus (VZV), and human herpesvirus 6, 7, and 8 (HHV-6, -7, -8). Lifelong latency may develop in the host with reactivation during periods of relative immunosuppression that occurs in transplant recipients. These are pleiotropic viruses: in addition to their direct effects of tissue injury and clinical illness, they exhibit several indirect effects, including immunomodulation and effects on angiogenesis and tumorigenesis, which may result in long-term adverse sequelae in the lung allograft. CMV and HHV-6 and -7 are increasingly recognized as major causes of morbidity and mortality in lung transplant recipients. EBV and HHV-8 have proven oncogenic potential. HSV-1 and -2 and VZV are neurotropic, causing perioral fever blisters, genital ulcerations, and, rarely, encephalitis. This article discusses the individual pathogens, preventive strategies in the era of potent treatment regimens for established viral infection or disease and their potential impact on the indirect effects of these viruses on long-term allograft function, and the incidence, risk factors for, and impact of antiviral resistance.

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