Reactivation of Human Herpes Virus-6 After Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation: Risk Factors, Onset, Clinical Symptoms and Association With Severity of Acute Graft-Versus-Host Disease.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND METHODS To study clinical symptoms, timing and consequences of human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) reactivation after pediatric allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT), HHV-6 was investigated by plasma polymerase chain reaction in a cohort of 106 pediatric SCT recipients. RESULTS HHV-6 viremia was detected post-SCT in 48% of the patients with a median time of onset at 20 days after SCT. In week 3 and 4 post-SCT, HHV-6 is the most common infectious agent detected. In up to 30% of the patients with fever of unknown origin, HHV-6 was the only detected infectious agent to explain fever. Patients transplanted with an unrelated donor or receiving serotherapy were at increased risk of HHV-6 reactivation. The onset of HHV-6 reactivation coincided with the appearance of lymphocytes and monocytes in peripheral blood. Treatment with alemtuzumab (MabCampath) delayed both lymphocyte and monocyte engraftment and, concomitantly, onset of HHV-6 reactivation was delayed in those cases. HHV-6 reactivation was not associated with an increased incidence of acute graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). However, progression to grade II-IV GvHD was in 9 of 10 patients associated with HHV-6 reactivation before GvHD (P = 0.006) and HHV-6 was the only infection with such an association. CONCLUSIONS HHV-6 frequently reactivates after pediatric SCT around the time of mononuclear cell engraftment and is associated with an increased severity of GvHD. HHV-6 may explain fever of unknown origin in 30% of the patients early after SCT. Assessment of HHV-6 reactivation in patients early after SCT can be instrumental for clinical decision making.

DOI: 10.1097/INF.0000000000000824

Cite this paper

@article{Verhoeven2015ReactivationOH, title={Reactivation of Human Herpes Virus-6 After Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation: Risk Factors, Onset, Clinical Symptoms and Association With Severity of Acute Graft-Versus-Host Disease.}, author={Dirk H J Verhoeven and Eric C . J . Claas and Cornelia M. Jol-van der Zijde and Joyphi C P Thijssen and Arjan C Lankester and Robbert G. M. Bredius and Hein Putter and Aloys C. M. Kroes and Rudolph Maarten Egeler and Marco W Schilham and Maarten J D van Tol}, journal={The Pediatric infectious disease journal}, year={2015}, volume={34 10}, pages={1118-27} }