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Keywords:

  • Cytomegalovirus;
  • diagnostics;
  • infection;
  • prevention;
  • transplant

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is the most common infection after organ transplantation and has a major impact on morbidity, mortality and graft survival. Optimal prevention, diagnosis and treatment of active CMV infection enhance transplant outcomes, and are the focus of this section. Methods to prevent CMV include universal prophylaxis and preemptive therapy; each has its merits, and will be compared and contrasted. Diagnostics have improved substantially in recent years, both in type and quality, allowing for more accurate and savvy treatment; advances in diagnostics include the development of an international standard, which should allow comparison of results across different methodologies, and assays for cellular immune function against CMV. Therapy primarily involves ganciclovir, now rendered more versatile by data suggesting oral therapy with valganciclovir is not inferior to intravenous therapy with ganciclovir. Treatment of resistant virus remains problematic, but is enhanced by the availability of multiple novel therapeutic agents.