Cytomegalovirus infection in recipients of related and unrelated donor bone marrow transplants: no evidence of increased incidence in patients receiving unrelated donor grafts


Dr Annabel Foot Royal Hospital for Sick Children, St Michael's Hill, Bristol BS2 8BJ.


Recent reports suggest an increased incidence of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection in recipients of unrelated donor (UD) bone marrow transplantation (BMT).

In this study we have collated the incidence of CMV infection and disease in sequential UD (n = 119) and related donor (RD; n = 79) BMT performed in a single institution over a 7-year period. Low-risk patients (CMV seronegative recipient and donor) accounted for 51% of UD BMT (n = 61) and 62% of RD BMT (n = 49), with CMV excretion documented in one RD BMT only. The remaining high-risk patients received identical prophylaxis regimens with aciclovir and intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG). Two groups consisting of 58 UD BMT (median age 9.0 years, range 0.7–45.3 years) and 30 RD BMT (median age 13.6 years, range 1.6–47.6 years) were analysed. CMV reactivation/re-infection was documented in 15 UD BMT (26%) and 10 RD BMT (33%) (P = 0.72), and CMV disease in four UD BMT (8%) and four RD BMT (13%) (P = 0.533). In this series the risk of CMV excretion and disease following UD BMT was similar to that following RD BMT.