Viral Pneumonias in Immunocompromised Adult Hosts

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Viral infections have always been considered pediatric diseases. However, viral pneumonia has become an important cause of morbidity and mortality in immuncompromised adults. Improved diagnostic techniques, such as the introduction of highly sensitive nucleic acid amplification tests, have not only allowed us to discover new viruses but also to determine the etiology of viral pneumonia in immunocompromised adult hosts. Unfortunately, only a few antiviral agents are available. Thus, early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to patient outcome. In this article, we review the most common viruses that have been implicated as etiologic agents of viral pneumonia in immunocompromised adults. We discuss the epidemiologic characteristics and clinical presentation of these viral infections and the most appropriate diagnostic approaches and therapies when available.

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