Differences inAspergillus-specific immune recovery between T-cell-replete and T-cell-depleted hematopoietic transplants

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After hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, invasive aspergillosis remains one of the most lethal infections. Susceptibility may be due to prophylaxis and treatment of graft-vs.-host disease in T-cell-replete transplants, and delayed immune rebuilding due to T-cell depletion in haploidentical transplantation.


We monitored CD4+ T-cell recovery and anti-Aspergillus immune competence in pediatric recipients of T-cell-replete matched transplants and of prevalently adult recipients of T-cell-depleted matched or haploidentical transplants for hematological malignancies.


Although CD4+ T-cell counts were higher in T-cell-replete transplant recipients at all post-transplant time points, Aspergillus-specific T cells were first detected 15–18 months after T-cell-replete matched, 7–9 months after T-cell-depleted matched, and 9–12 months after haploidentical transplantation, respectively. Incidence of invasive aspergillosis was 22% with 10% mortality after T-cell-replete transplants, 0% after T-cell-depleted matched, and 7% with 4% mortality after haploidentical transplants.


Although T-cell counts were significantly higher after T-cell-replete transplants, post-transplant immune suppression/GvHD appeared to impair their function. Specific Aspergillus immune competence recovered faster after T-cell-depleted transplants, whether matched or haploidentical. T-cell-replete transplants were associated with a higher incidence of invasive aspergillosis and Aspergillus-related deaths. These results showed that T-cell depletion without post-transplant immunosuppression is associated to a faster immune recovery than T-cell-replete transplantation.

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