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Curr Opin Organ Transplant. 2019 Jun;24(3):311-317. doi: 10.1097/MOT.0000000000000633.

Community-acquired respiratory viruses.

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Department of Respiratory Medicine, Hannover Medical School, German Center of Lung Research (DZL), Hannover, Germany.



Incidence of community-acquired respiratory viruses (CARVs) after lung transplantation (LTx) is 10-68 cases per 100 patient-years. Infected patients may develop graft failure and there seems to be an association between CARV infection and development of chronic lung allograft dysfunction (CLAD). This review summarizes the impact of CARV infection after LTx and potential treatment strategies.


Detection rate of CARV depends on diagnostic methods. CARV infections after LTx are reported more frequently probably attributed to improved diagnostic methods, especially nucleic acid testing. Paramyxoviridae and picornaviridae are most frequent. For paramyxoviridae, the association with CLAD is reported in various single-center observational studies. Neuraminidase inhibitors are approved for influenza and can be safely used in flu-infected LTx patients. There is no approved treatment for paramyxoviruses, most centers use ribavirin in the infected LTx recipient.


Antivirals against CARV in LTx recipients have not yet demonstrated reduced morbidity in randomized clinical trials. Agents against CARV under development are inhibiting viral attachment and use silencing mechanisms of viral replication. The cohort of lung transplant recipients is a focus of intense research because of the high morbidity of CARV infection and intense surveillance of LTx recipeints.

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