Respiratory Viral Infections in Hematopoietic Stem Cell and Solid Organ Transplant Recipients

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Respiratory viral infections (RVIs) are common causes of mild illness in immunocompetent children and adults with rare occurrences of significant morbidity or mortality. Complications are more common in the very young, very old, and those with underlying lung diseases. However, RVIs are increasingly recognized as a cause of morbidity and mortality in recipients of hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT) and solid organ transplants (SOTs). Diagnostic techniques for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), parainfluenza, influenza, and adenovirus have been clinically available for decades, and these infections are known to cause serious disease in transplant recipients. Modern molecular technology has now made it possible to detect other RVIs including human metapneumovirus, coronavirus, and bocavirus, and the role of these viruses in causing serious disease in transplant recipients is still being worked out. This article reviews the current information regarding epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of these infections, as well as the aspects of clinical significance of RVIs unique to HSCT or SOT.

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