Adenovirus as an emerging pathogen in immunocompromised patients

Br J Haematol. 2005 Jan;128(2):135-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2004.05218.x.


Adenoviruses are non-enveloped, lytic, DNA viruses capable of infecting most animal species. There are 51 different human adenovirus serotypes, which are grouped from A to F on the basis of genome size, composition, homology and organization. Pathogenicity varies according to group and type, but infections are generally well controlled by the host immune system in immunocompetent individuals. However, in the immunosuppressed, adenoviral infections are a frequent cause of morbidity and mortality. To date there is no effective therapy. Adoptive transfer of immune T cells offers a therapeutic option, but this strategy has been hindered by the lack of information on targets of protective cellular immunity, and by the immunological heterogeneity of the 51 human adenoviruses. Nevertheless, until such an approach is implemented, or an effective antiviral agent becomes commercially available, it is likely that adenovirus infections will continue to be responsible for a significant number of virus-associated deaths each year.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae Infections / complications*
  • Adenoviridae* / genetics
  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / immunology
  • Transduction, Genetic / methods


  • Antiviral Agents