Prediction of severe disseminated adenovirus infection by serum PCR

Lancet. 2001 Aug 4;358(9279):384-5. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(01)05580-5.


Adenoviruses are increasingly recognised as viral pathogens that can cause fatal infections in immunocompromised patients, particularly recipients of haematopoietic stem-cell grafts. Adenovirus infections are not easily diagnosed and the development of a severe infection cannot be predicted by standard culture techniques. In a pilot study, we investigated the value of adenovirus DNA detection in serum as a marker of disseminated disease in 14 patients with defined patterns of adenovirus infections. The results show that the appearance of adenoviral DNA in serum preceded the development of a severe or fatal adenovirus infection. Because proper management is dependent on early diagnosis and differentiation from other conditions, this test may be a valuable tool in the management of adenovirus infection.

Publication types

  • Letter

MeSH terms

  • Adenovirus Infections, Human / diagnosis*
  • Adenoviruses, Human / isolation & purification*
  • DNA, Viral / blood*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Humans
  • Pilot Projects
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Predictive Value of Tests


  • DNA, Viral