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Peterson, Lisa; Ostermann, Helmut; Fiegl, Michael; Tischer, Johanna; Jaeger, Gundula and Rieger, Christina T. (2016): Reactivation of polyomavirus in the genitourinary tract is significantly associated with severe GvHD and oral mucositis following allogeneic stem cell transplantation. In: Infection, Vol. 44, No. 4: pp. 483-490

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BK-virus and JC-virus are the most common polyomaviridae associated with hemorrhagic cystitis in the allogeneic transplant setting. Hemorrhagic cystitis and symptomatic viruria caused by these viruses are a major cause of morbidity in patients undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplantation. We performed a retrospective evaluation on a highly uniform study population of 73 patients receiving allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Patients were treated according to the FLAMSA-RIC-protocol, and were examined for the incidence of BK-/JC-viruria and late-onset BK-positive hemorrhagic cystitis within a two-year period. The occurrence of BK-viruria was correlated with published risk factors (acute GvHD, oral mucositis, donor type, conditioning, age, gender). Thirty patients (41 %) were found to excrete either BK-virus (n = 17), JC-virus (n = 3) or both (n = 10), of whom 18 patients (60 %) developed higher-grade hemorrhagic cystitis as opposed to none in the virus-negative control group. Higher grade GvHD (grade B-D) was more common in patients with viruria (p = 0.013) and also more common in patients with manifest hemorrhagic cystitis (p = 0.048). Similarly, oral mucositis was associated both with viruria (p = 0.014) and hemorrhagic cystitis (p = 0.005). Manifest cystitis but not viruria was significantly associated with male gender (p = 0.016). No significant correlation was found with age, conditioning with busulfane vs total body irradiation or related vs unrelated donor. Severe GvHD and oral mucositis are significantly associated with reactivation of polyomaviridae in the genitourinary-tract already at the level of asymptomatic viruria.

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