Microbiol Spectr. 2016 Aug;4(4). doi: 10.1128/microbiolspec.DMIH2-0020-2015.


Adenoviruses are a highly prevalent infection that can cause a range of clinical syndromes in immunocompromised patients, ranging from localized disease of the respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, or urinary tract to disseminated disease. Adenovirus infections may develop in this unique population as the result of primary infection or reactivation of latent virus. Disease can be potentially progressive with high rates of mortality in patients with pneumonia and disseminated disease. Fortunately, cidofovir and its lipid ester, brincidofovir, appear to be effective for the treatment of adenovirus, although neither is specifically approved for this indication. Adenovirus should always be considered when immunocompromised patients present with any clinical syndrome that could be compatible with adenoviral infection. Once disease is suspected, cultures or molecular testing of appropriate specimens should be obtained and blood should be sent for adenovirus polymerase chain reaction (PCR) whenever adenovirus is suspected. Monitoring of quantitative viral loads in blood is helpful in predicting response to therapy with a significant drop (>1 log) associated with a higher probability of clinical response.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae Infections / diagnosis
  • Adenoviridae Infections / drug therapy
  • Adenoviridae Infections / epidemiology*
  • Adenoviridae Infections / pathology*
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cidofovir
  • Cytosine / analogs & derivatives
  • Cytosine / therapeutic use
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine / methods
  • Disease Susceptibility*
  • Drug Monitoring / methods
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host*
  • Organophosphonates / therapeutic use


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Organophosphonates
  • brincidofovir
  • Cytosine
  • Cidofovir