Community respiratory virus infections in immunocompromised patients: hematopoietic stem cell and solid organ transplant recipients, and individuals with human immunodeficiency virus infection

Semin Respir Crit Care Med. 2007 Apr;28(2):222-42. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-976494.


Infection is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in immunocompromised patients such as hematopoietic/solid organ transplant recipients and individuals with human immunodeficiency virus. Community respiratory virus infections are increasingly recognized as a significant threat to these patients. This article reviews current information in the clinical field of community respiratory viruses, including several newly discovered respiratory viruses. Respiratory syncytial virus, influenza viruses, parainfluenza viruses, and adenoviruses cause the most serious disease in immunocompromised hosts, but other respiratory viruses are becoming increasingly appreciated as a cause of both upper and lower respiratory tract disease. The clinical impact of these new viruses, including human metapneumovirus, non-SARS human coronaviruses, and human bocavirus, is not yet clear. Modern molecular technology has made the discovery of new viruses possible; the use of these new technologies in direct patient care is not yet standard but is becoming increasingly utilized. Clinicians should appreciate the potential for the development of antiviral resistance to influenza antivirals in immunocompromised patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections* / drug therapy
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections* / immunology
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections* / prevention & control
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Community-Acquired Infections / drug therapy
  • Community-Acquired Infections / prevention & control
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host*
  • Infection Control
  • Organ Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / drug therapy
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / prevention & control
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / virology
  • Viral Vaccines
  • Virus Diseases* / drug therapy
  • Virus Diseases* / prevention & control


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Viral Vaccines