High levels of adenovirus DNA in serum correlate with fatal outcome of adenovirus infection in children after allogeneic stem-cell transplantation

Clin Infect Dis. 2002 Sep 1;35(5):526-32. doi: 10.1086/341770. Epub 2002 Jul 31.


An increase in the incidence of adenovirus (AdV) infection leading to death among children who have undergone allogeneic stem-cell transplantation has made it necessary to find new ways to monitor AdV infection. In this retrospective study, levels of AdV DNA in serum samples obtained from 36 transplant recipients with stool cultures positive for AdV were measured by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) semiquantitatively by analyzing serial dilutions of the DNA template. Six (86%) of 7 children who died of AdV infection, compared with only 2 (7%) of 29 other patients, had high serum levels of AdV DNA (detectable by PCR at a > or =100-fold dilution of the DNA template; P<.0001). High serum levels of AdV DNA were reached a mean of 18 days before death (range, 6-29 days). Quantification of adenoviral DNA in serum may prove to be a valuable tool to diagnose and monitor AdV infection and disease in immunocompromised children.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / genetics
  • Adenoviridae / physiology*
  • Adenoviridae Infections / blood
  • Adenoviridae Infections / mortality*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA, Viral / blood*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Postoperative Complications / blood
  • Postoperative Complications / mortality*
  • Postoperative Complications / virology
  • Transplantation, Homologous / adverse effects*
  • Viral Load


  • Biomarkers
  • DNA, Viral