Late Cytomegalovirus Transmission and Impact of T–Depletion in Clinical Islet Transplantation

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The epidemiology of cytomegalovirus infection (CMV) in islet transplantation (IT) is not well defined. This study defines incidence, transmission and clinical sequelae of CMV reactivation or disease in 121 patients receiving 266 islet infusions at a single institution. The donor (D)/recipient (R) serostatus was D+/R– 31.2%, D+/R+ 26.3%, D–/R+ 13.2% and D–/R– 29.3%. CMV prophylaxis with oral ganciclovir/valganciclovir was given in 68%. CMV infection occurred in 14/121 patients (11.6%); six had asymptomatic seroconversion and eight others had positive viremia (six asymptomatic and two with CMV febrile symptoms). Median peak viral loads were 1755 copies/mL (range 625–9 100 000). Risk factors for viremia included lymphocyte depletion (thymoglobulin or alemtuzumab, p < 0.001). Viremia was more common in D+/R+ versus D+/R– (p = 0.12), occurring mostly late after transplant (median 306 days). Presumed transmission from IT occurred in 8/83 of D+/R– procedures (9.6%). Of the two cases of CMV disease, one resulted from islet transmission from a CMV positive donor (D+/R–); the other was due tode novo exogenous infection (D–/R–). Therefore, CMV transmission presents rarely after IT and with low incidence compared to solid organ transplantation, but occurs late posttransplant. The use of lymphocyte depleting therapies is a primary risk factor.

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