Real-time blood plasma polymerase chain reaction for management of disseminated adenovirus infection

Clin Infect Dis. 2004 Jan 1;38(1):45-52. doi: 10.1086/380450. Epub 2003 Dec 5.


We evaluated the usefulness of quantifying blood plasma adenovirus DNA loads for the management of adenovirus infection. Quantification of adenovirus A, B, and C DNA loads was done with real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays. Blood plasma specimens obtained from 44 immunocompromised patients were screened prospectively with this method. PCR findings for 36 patients were negative, and none of the patients developed disseminated adenoviral disease. PCR findings for 8 patients were positive; all 8 had invasive adenoviral disease and were treated with cidofovir. Sequential measurements of adenovirus DNA loads were performed to monitor the effect of cidofovir therapy. Decrease in the blood plasma DNA load was significantly higher in patients with a good response to cidofovir than in patients with a poor response and was therefore correlated with survival. Detection of adenovirus DNA in blood plasma appears to be useful for identifying patients at risk for invasive disease. Moreover, quantification of adenovirus DNA loads in plasma is helpful for monitoring the efficacy of antiviral therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / isolation & purification*
  • Adenoviridae / physiology
  • Adenovirus Infections, Human / blood
  • Adenovirus Infections, Human / diagnosis*
  • Adenovirus Infections, Human / drug therapy
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cidofovir
  • Cytosine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Cytosine / therapeutic use
  • DNA, Viral / blood*
  • Drug Monitoring
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Organophosphonates*
  • Organophosphorus Compounds / therapeutic use
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Viral Load*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • DNA, Viral
  • Organophosphonates
  • Organophosphorus Compounds
  • Cytosine
  • Cidofovir