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Post-allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Viral Reactivations And Viremias: A Focused Review On Human Herpesvirus-6, BK Virus And Adenovirus

Xin Wang, Shyam A. Patel, Michael Haddadin, Jan Cerny

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Human cytomegalovirus and Epstein–Barr virus have been recognized as potential drivers of morbidity and mortality of patients undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplantation for years. Specific protocols for monitoring, prophylaxis and pre-emptive therapy are in place in many transplant settings. In this review, we focus on the next three most frequent viruses, human herpesvirus-6, BK virus and adenovirus, causing reactivation and/or viremia after allogeneic transplant, which are increasingly detected in patients in the post-transplant period owing to emerging techniques of molecular biology, recipients’ characteristics, treatment modalities used for conditioning and factors related donors or stem cell source. Given the less frequent detection of an illness related to these viruses, there are often no specific protocols in place for the management of affected patients. While some patients develop significant morbidity (generally older), others may not need therapy at all (generally younger or children). Furthermore, some of the antiviral therapies used are potentially toxic. With the addition of increased risk of secondary infections, risk of graft failure or increased risk of graft- versus-host disease as well as the relationship with other post-transplant complications, the outcomes of patients with these viremias remain unsatisfactory and even long-term survivors experience increased morbidity.