Immune donors can protect marrow-transplant recipients from severe cytomegalovirus infections

J. P. Grob, H. G. Prentice, J. Z. Wimperis, M. K. Brenner, J. E. Grundy, P. D. Griffiths, M. D. Hughes, T. Tate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


To study the importance of transferred immunity against cytomegalovirus (CMV) in allogeneic, HLA-matched, T-cell-depleted bone marrow transplantation, the incidence, severity, and outcome of CMV infections were studied in 40 CMV-seropositive recipients in relation to the donors' immunity against CMV. There was no significant difference in the incidence of CMV infections between recipients of seropositive (n = 27) and seronegative (n = 13) marrow. However, the incidence of CMV pneumonitis (8/13 compared with 4/27; p < 0.001) and the mortality attributable to CMV infection (6/13 compared with 1/27, p < 0.01) were significantly greater in the group with seronegative donors than in those with seropositive donors. Multivariate regression analysis showed that recipients of seronegative marrow had fifteen-fold greater risk of CMV pneumonitis and a fifty-fold increase in risk of a fatal CMV infection than recipients of seropositive marrow. Thus, after T-cell depletion, CMV-seropositive marrow protects seropositive recipients against severe CMV infections; whenever possible, therefore, such recipients should be given marrow from seropositive donors. Ultimately, active immunisation of CMV-seronegative donors might help to protect seropositive recipients of T-cell-depleted marrow transplants against severe CMV infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)774-776
Number of pages3
Issue number8536
StatePublished - May 29 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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