Incidence of Viremia With DNA Viruses in Oncology Patients With Febrile Neutropenia

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Abstract

Background:

Although febrile neutropenia (FN) is one of the most common adverse events produced by chemotherapy, its microbiological etiology is determined for only 15% to 30% of cases.

Objectives:

We investigated the rate of viremia with common DNA viruses in patients with FN.

Study Design:

From June 2012 to April 2014, 72 blood samples from 24 patients receiving chemotherapy, who experienced FN episodes, were examined for the presence of herpes viruses and other DNA viruses. We used real-time polymerase chain reaction assays to detect herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2, varicella zoster virus, Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, human herpes virus types 6 and 7, BK virus and human parvovirus B19 (B19).

Results:

Viruses were identified in 14 of 72 samples (19.4%). The detected etiological agents were BK virus (5 episodes), human herpes virus type 6 (4 episodes), B19 (4 episodes), Epstein-Barr virus (2 episodes), and cytomegalovirus (1 episode).

Conclusions:

Our results indicate that viral infections are common causes in patients with FN. Therefore, viruses may be responsible for FN in a large proportion of patients in whom a causative microorganism could not be identified, and this viral etiology may explain their poor response to antibiotic therapy.

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