Resistant Cytomegalovirus Infection in Solid-organ Transplantation: Single-center Experience, Literature Review of Risk Factors, and Proposed Preventive Strategies

A. Majeed, A. Latif, V. Kapoor, A. Sohail, C. Florita, A. Georgescu, Tirdad T Zangeneh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Background: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection causes morbidity and mortality in solid-organ transplant recipients. Drug-resistant CMV is an emerging problem with poor survival outcomes and limited therapeutic options. In this study we comprehensively address the issue of drug resistance in CMV when compared with standard therapies, such as ganciclovir (GCV) and foscarnet. Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of adult patients diagnosed with CMV after solid-organ transplant at our center between 2013 and 2017, and identified 7 resistant CMV cases. To study risk factors in the published literature, we performed an extensive database search. Results: All patients had documented UL97 mutations, and 3 patients harbored both UL97 and UL54 mutations. For cases with increasing viral load or failure to achieve clinical improvement despite optimal therapy, genetic resistance testing was carried out. Patients received GCV and foscarnet combination therapy. As an adjunct, CMV immunoglobulin, cidofovir, and leflunomide were added. Risk factors, including donor+/recipient serostatus, persistent high viral replication, prolonged therapeutic GCV exposure (>2.5 months), and allograft rejection, were assessed. Conclusion: Patients at risk, especially those with D+/R serostatus, should be judiciously monitored for resistance. Prolonged intravenous GCV exposure increases the risk for development of drug resistance. Therefore, precise guidelines are required for prevention of long-term GCV/VGCV exposure. Investigation regarding interferon-gamma release assay and adoptive transfer of T cells in diagnosed CMV patients is warranted to improve future prophylactic and management strategies against CMV, with a potential to reduce the requirement for available toxic antiviral drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTransplantation Proceedings
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation

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