Disseminated adenovirus infection in two premature infants

Infection. Jul-Aug 2000;28(4):237-9. doi: 10.1007/s150100070044.


We present two premature infants with disseminated neonatal adenovirus infection, whose epidemiology, clinical course and outcome differ to a great extent. The first infant, born vaginally at 35 weeks gestational age after premature rupture of membranes and maternal illness, developed pneumonia, hepatitis and coagulopathy and died of circulatory failure at the age of 17 days. The other infant, delivered by cesarean section at 36 weeks gestational age, did - in contrast to all documented cases in the literature - not show any signs of pneumonia and survived meningitis without sequelae. The mode of transmission of the viral infection may have been via the maternal birth canal in the first infant and transplacental in the second one. Diagnosis was obtained by direct immunofluorescent test and serology in the first patient and by maternal serology and the detection of viral antigen in tracheal aspirates (ELISA) in the second patient. Disseminated neonatal adenovirus infection has a high mortality and should be considered in the differential diagnosis of neonatal sepsis, especially when pneumonia, hepatitis and neurologic symptoms develop together with thrombocytopenia or disseminated intravascular coagulopathy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adenovirus Infections, Human / diagnosis
  • Adenovirus Infections, Human / pathology
  • Adenovirus Infections, Human / transmission*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation / etiology
  • Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation / pathology
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical
  • Male
  • Meningitis / etiology
  • Meningitis / pathology
  • Pneumonia / etiology
  • Pneumonia / pathology