Reactivation of human herpesviruses after allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplantation and bone marrow transplantation

Y. Maeda, T. Teshima, Masao Yamada, M. Harada

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Reactivation of latent herpesviruses results in outcomes ranging from asymptomatic shedding of viruses to severe diseases, depending on the immunological competence of the host. Severe and prolonged suppression of cellular and humoral immunity after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is accompanied by a high incidence of symptomatic recurrent herpesvirus infections. Subclinical reactivation also occurs more frequently than previously expected in transplant recipients. An increasing viral load in the blood detected by an antigenemia assay or PCR and viral shedding in regional fluids have a predictive value for subsequent diseases. Monitoring of viral DNA in the peripheral blood after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (allo-BMT) reveals unique temporal profiles of detection for each herpesvirus. Recent studies demonstrate that recovery of CD4+ T cells is enhanced within one month after allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplantation (allo-PBSCT) compared to allo-BMT. To clarify whether this immunological advantage could affect the reactivation of human herpesvirus (HHV), we monitored the emergence of viral DNA by a nested-double polymerase chain reaction in peripheral blood leukocytes. Detection rates of HHV-6 DNAs which peak at 3-4 weeks post-transplant, were significantly reduced after allo-PBSCT compared to allo-BMT, while those of other herpesviruses which tend to be reactivated later than this period (Epstein-Barr virus and cytomegalovirus) were similar between the two types of transplants. Detection of HHV-6 DNA within the first month after the transplant was associated with delayed platelet engraftment. These results underscore the important role of CD4+ T reconstitution in inhibiting virus reactivation post-transplant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-239
Number of pages11
JournalLeukemia and Lymphoma
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • BMT
  • Engraftment
  • Human herpesvirus
  • Latency
  • Reactivation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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