Respiratory Syncytial Virus in Hematopoietic Cell Transplant Recipients: Factors Determining Progression to Lower Respiratory Tract Disease.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


The Journal of infectious diseases (2014)


2014, Center-Authored Paper, Clinical Research Division, January 2014, Public Health Sciences Division, Vaccine and Infectious Disease Division


Background. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) lower respiratory tract disease (LRD) is a life-threatening complication in hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) recipients. Lymphopenia has been associated with an increased risk of progression from upper respiratory tract infection (URI) to LRD.Methods. This study retrospectively analyzed the significance of lymphocyte engraftment dynamics, lung function, smoking history, corticosteroids, antiviral treatment, viral subtypes, and RSV-specific neutralizing antibodies for the progression to LRD in 181 HCT recipients with RSV URI.Results. In multivariable models, smoking history, conditioning with high-dose total body irradiation, and an absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) ≤100/mm(3) at the time of URI onset were significantly associated with disease progression. No progression occurred in patients with ALCs of >1000/mm(3) at URI onset. Lymphocyte engraftment dynamics were similar in progressors and nonprogressors. Pre- and posttransplant donor and posttransplant recipient RSV subtype-specific neutralizing antibody levels, RSV viral subtypes, and corticosteroids also were not significantly associated with LRD progression.Conclusions. Host and transplant related factors appear to determine the risk of progression to LRD more than viral factors. Dysfunctional cell-mediated immunity appears to be important in the pathogenesis of progressive RSV disease after HCT. A characterization of RSV-specific T-cell immunity is warranted.