A Fatal Case of West Nile Virus Infection in a Bone Marrow Transplant Recipient

Clin Infect Dis. 2003 Nov 1;37(9):e129-31. doi: 10.1086/378891. Epub 2003 Oct 6.


West Nile virus (WNV) can cause severe, potentially fatal neurological illnesses, which include encephalitis, meningitis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and anterior myelitis. Because of the short viremic phase, WNV infection is most commonly diagnosed by detection of immunoglobulin M antibody to WNV in serum or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). We describe a patient with T cell lymphoma who had undergone a T cell-depleted bone marrow transplantation and developed fatal WNV infection. The results of serological tests of blood samples and of CSF tests were negative. Diagnosis was made postmortem by a positive result of reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (ABI 7700; TaqMan) for WNV in stored CSF and serum samples.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nervous System Diseases / blood
  • Nervous System Diseases / mortality
  • Nervous System Diseases / virology*
  • Postmortem Changes
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Serologic Tests
  • West Nile Fever / blood
  • West Nile Fever / mortality*
  • West Nile virus / isolation & purification*