[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The degree of immunosuppression in patients with haematological malignancies treated with chemotherapy is routinely measured as number of circulating cells (preferable neutrophils) in peripheral blood. A parallel decline in the number of T cells is expected, but a possible alteration in their functionality has been less well explored. The ability of T cells to secrete more than one cytokine simultaneously is known to indicate protective immunity. The aim of this study was to determine whether the function of circulating T cells is altered in patients with chemotherapy-induced neutropenia.
In this cross-sectional study, we used the FluoroSpot assay to investigate the proportion of T cells secreting either interferon-γ or interleukin-2, or both cytokines simultaneously, after anti-CD3 stimulation. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 53 adult patients with chemotherapy-induced neutropenia and 20 healthy individuals were investigated.
There were significantly fewer T cells secreting interferon-γ in neutropenic patients compared with healthy control subjects (P = 0.02), but the difference was greatest for dual cytokine-secreting T cells (P = 0.001). Furthermore, the amount of secreted cytokine per T cell appeared to be reduced in patients, compared with control subjects.
Our results suggest that the functionality of T cells is altered in patients with haematological malignancies with chemotherapy-induced neutropenia. In parallel with a decline in T cell count, this may further increase the risk of severe infections. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Journal of Internal Medicine 06/2013; · 6.46 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Until recently, viral infections in patients with hematological malignancies were concerns primarily in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients. During the last years, changed treatment regimens for non-transplanted patients with hematological malignancies have had potential to increase the incidence of viral infections in this group. In this study, we have prospectively investigated the prevalence of a broad range of respiratory viruses in nasopharyngeal aspirate (NPA) as well as viruses that commonly reactivate after allogeneic HSCT.
Patients with hematological malignancies and therapy induced neutropenia (n = 159) were screened regarding a broad range of common respiratory viruses in the nasopharynx and for viruses commonly detected in severely immunosuppressed patients in peripheral blood. Quantitative PCR was used for detection of viruses. A viral pathogen was detected in 35% of the patients. The detection rate was rather similar in blood (22%) and NPA (18%) with polyoma BK virus and rhinovirus as dominating pathogens in blood and NPA, respectively. Patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) (p<0.01) and patients with fever (p<0.001) were overrepresented in the virus-positive group. Furthermore, viral findings in NPA were associated with upper respiratory symptoms (URTS) (p<0.0001).
Both respiratory viral infections and low titers of viruses in blood from patients with neutropenia were common. Patients with CLL and patients with fever were independently associated to these infections, and viral findings in NPA were associated to URTS indicating active infection. These findings motivate further studies on viruses' impact on this patient category and their potential role as causative agents of fever during neutropenia.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(5):e36543. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The recently discovered human parvovirus 4 (PARV4) has been associated with seropositivity for human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus. High prevalence is seen especially in intravenous drug users. The virus has been detected in blood products and persons who have been repeatedly transfused have shown to be a risk-group. Furthermore, reports from different parts of the world suggesting a prevalence ranging from zero to one third of the healthy population and the virus is thought to cause a latent or persistent infection. We investigated the presence of PARV4 DNA and parvovirus B19 (B19) DNA in serum from 231 severely immunocompromised cancer patients that have been exposed for blood products. Compared to B19, which was found in 3.9% of the patients, we found no evidence of PARV4. Our results may indicate a very low prevalence of the virus in Sweden, and it would be useful to measure the real PARV4 exposure of the healthy population as well as individuals with known risk factors by serology.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(9):e46430. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adenoviruses (AdV) have emerged as important causes of morbidity and mortality in patients after hematopoietic SCT (HSCT). Early diagnosis of the infection by detection of viral DNA may improve the prognosis. A surveillance strategy was evaluated for detection of AdV DNA by PCR in a prospective study of unselected allogeneic HSCT recipients. In parallel with a routine CMV surveillance program, plasma from 20 children and 77 adults was analyzed by quantitative PCR for detection of AdV DNA. In addition, in 12 unselected patients, the presence of AdV-specific T cells were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISPOT) at 1 to 3 months after transplantation. A total of 5 of 97 (5%) patients had detectable AdV DNA in peripheral blood. Only one patient had high titers and none developed AdV disease. BM as a source of stem cells and myelodysplastic syndrome as the indication for transplantation were independently associated with higher risk of acquiring AdV infection. AdV-specific T cells were detected in 7 (58%) of 12 patients. Although AdV DNA was found in peripheral blood by quantitative PCR in 5% of patients undergoing allogeneic HSCT, the present surveillance program did not have a significant effect on the clinical outcome.
Bone marrow transplantation 02/2011; 46(2):267-72. · 3.00 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Febrile neutropenia is a common complication in children undergoing chemotherapy for malignancies. A microbial agent is only identified in 15-30% of the fever episodes and corresponds mostly to bacterial findings.
To investigate viral infections as possible etiologic agents in episodes of febrile neutropenia.
Nasopharyngeal aspirates (NPAs) from patients presenting with neutropenic fever at two pediatric oncology wards in Sweden and Australia were analyzed with a conventional virus-diagnostic approach and RT-PCR. Coupled blood samples were analyzed for the detection of CMV, EBV, adenovirus and erythrovirus. Bacterial blood culture was performed routinely.
Conventional virus-diagnostic approach coupled to routinely performed bacterial analyzes revealed an infectious agent in 29% compared to 60% when using PCR. By adding PCR, a viral pathogen was detected in 46% of the NPAs and in 4% of the blood samples collected. In half of the patients with bacteremia, respiratory tract viruses were co-detected.
Respiratory viruses were frequently detected in NPAs suggesting a significant role of viral infections in children presenting with neutropenic fever. The meaning of these findings needs to be further evaluated but has the potential to individualize infection treatment and to reduce the extensive use of antibiotics in immunocompromised children with neutropenia.
Journal of clinical virology: the official publication of the Pan American Society for Clinical Virology 03/2010; 47(3):234-7. · 3.12 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several studies have compared nasal swabs to the more invasive nasopharyngeal aspirate (NPA) for detection of respiratory viruses. Mostly, the comparisons have been performed on immunocompetent children with upper respiratory tract symptoms. The results range from a relatively poor sensitivity for the swabs to an even higher sensitivity than for the NPA. We aimed to investigate the sensitivity of a flocked nasal swab (fNS) on immunocompromised adults with febrile neutropenia.
During 16 months, adults with a hematological disorder presenting with febrile neutropenia were enrolled in the study. Paired samples of the fNS and NPA were collected in the outer part of the nasal cavity and the nasopharynx, respectively. The samples were analyzed regarding a panel of 15 respiratory viruses by means of quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Furthermore, as an indirect measure of cell yield by either method, the copy number of the human beta actin gene was also determined. Cohen's kappa was calculated as a measure of agreement of the results obtained from either method. Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used for comparison of cell yield.
A total of 98 paired samples from a total of 89 patients were collected. Twenty of the pairs had virus detected in at least one of the specimens; 11 in both, 7 in NPA only, and 2 in fNS only. For the fNS, the overall sensitivity for any virus and for rhinovirus only was 65% and 78%, respectively. NPA was significantly superior to the fNS in collecting epithelial cells.
We found the overall sensitivity of 65% to be too low to replace NPA with this sampling technique in this patient category.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Parvovirus B19 infection causes severe cytopenia and can mimic a leukemic relapse or therapy-induced cytopenia in patients with hematologic malignancies. We evaluated the complications of parvovirus B19 infection, including delays in the scheduled course of chemotherapy, in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).
Consecutive bone marrow samples were collected from 117 children with ALL and were analyzed for parvovirus B19 DNA by polymerase chain reaction. Clinical and laboratory data were collected from the Nordic Childhood Leukemia Registry and from medical records.
Among the 117 children with ALL, 18 (15%) were found to be parvovirus B19 DNA positive. The infection was suspected on clinical grounds in only 1 of these 18 patients. Patients with viremia at diagnosis or during therapy for infection had lower viral loads (median viral load, 7 x 10(4) copies/mL) than did those who became viremic during maintenance therapy (median viral load, 2 x 10(8) copies/mL). The former group also had fewer clinical complications. Indeed, when parvovirus B19 DNA was present during the maintenance treatment, the number of complications (including cytopenia) increased, causing significantly longer periods without chemotherapy (median duration without chemotherapy, 59 days vs. 30 days; P < or = .05) and a higher number of blood transfusions (P = .018) in parvovirus B19 DNA-positive patients than in parvovirus B19 DNA-negative patients.
Children with ALL who were infected with parvovirus B19 became cytopenic, leading to reduced treatment intensity and to complications during treatment. Screening for parvovirus B19 DNA by quantitative polymerase chain reaction in pediatric patients with ALL and unexplained cytopenia is suggested.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Parvovirus B19 is a significant human pathogen that causes a wide spectrum of clinical complications ranging from mild, self-limiting erythema infectiosum in immunocompetent children to lethal cytopenias in immunocompromised patients and intrauterine foetal death in primary infected pregnant women. The infection may also be persistent and can mimic or trigger autoimmune inflammatory disorders. Another important clinical aspect to consider is the risk of infection through B19-contaminated blood products. Recent advances in diagnosis and pathogenesis, new insights in the cellular immune response and newly discovered genotypes of human parvoviruses form a platform for the development of modern therapeutic and prophylactic alternatives.
Journal of Internal Medicine 11/2006; 260(4):285-304. · 6.46 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A subset of parvovirus B19 (B19) infected patients retains the infection for years, as defined by detection of B19 DNA in bone marrow. Thus far, analysis of B19-specific humoral immune responses and viral genome variations has not revealed a mechanism for the absent viral clearance. In this study, ex-vivo cellular immune responses were assessed by enzyme linked immunospot assay mounted against the majority of the translated viral genome. Compared to seropositive healthy individuals, individuals with B19 persistence (2-8 years) showed larger number of responses to the structural proteins (P = 0.0022), whereas responses to the non-structural protein were of lower magnitude (P = 0.012). These observations provide the first findings of immunological discrepancies between individuals with B19 persistence and healthy individuals, findings that may reflect both failed immunity and antigenic exhaustion.
Journal of Medical Virology 02/2006; 78(1):129-33. · 2.37 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human parvovirus B19 (B19) is a ubiquitous and clinically significant pathogen, causing erythema infectiosum, arthropathy, transient aplastic crisis, and intrauterine fetal death. The phenotype of CD8+ T cells in acute B19 infection has not been studied previously.
The number and phenotype of B19-specific CD8+ T cell responses during and after acute adult infection was studied using HLA-peptide multimeric complexes. Surprisingly, these responses increased in magnitude over the first year post-infection despite resolution of clinical symptoms and control of viraemia, with T cell populations specific for individual epitopes comprising up to 4% of CD8+ T cells. B19-specific T cells developed and maintained an activated CD38+ phenotype, with strong expression of perforin and CD57 and downregulation of CD28 and CD27. These cells possessed strong effector function and intact proliferative capacity. Individuals tested many years after infection exhibited lower frequencies of B19-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes, typically 0.05%-0.5% of CD8+ T cells, which were perforin, CD38, and CCR7 low.
This is the first example to our knowledge of an "acute" human viral infection inducing a persistent activated CD8+ T cell response. The likely explanation--analogous to that for cytomegalovirus infection--is that this persistent response is due to low-level antigen exposure. CD8+ T cells may contribute to the long-term control of this significant pathogen and should be considered during vaccine development.
PLoS Medicine 01/2006; 2(12):e343. · 15.25 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Parvovirus B19 is a common, clinically significant pathogen. Reassessment of the viral kinetics after acute infection showed that the virus is not rapidly cleared from healthy hosts, despite early resolution of symptoms. These findings challenge our current conception of the virus' pathogenesis and have implications for the management of the infection.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Murine models have suggested that CD8+ T-cell responses peak early in acute viral infections and are not sustained, but no evidence for humans has been available. To address this, we longitudinally analyzed the CD8+ T-cell response to human parvovirus B19 in acutely infected individuals. We observed striking CD8+ T-cell responses, which were sustained or even increased over many months after the resolution of acute disease, indicating that CD8+ T cells may play a prominent role in the control of parvovirus B19 and other acute viral infections of humans, including potentially those generated by live vaccines.
Journal of Virology 10/2005; 79(18):12117-21. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the capacity of parvovirus B19 capsid protein VP2 to inhibit hematopoiesis in vitro and in vivo. If effective, a VP2-derived construct may have therapeutic and prophylactic utility in diseases associated to overproduction of hematopoietic cells.
The effect on hematopoiesis in vitro of recombinant VP2, intact and enzymatically fragmented, was evaluated in a colony formation assay, using cells from fetal liver and macaque bone marrow. VP2 was also administered intravenously in macaques and hematological parameters as well as the ex vivo colony formation were assayed during a follow-up period of 33 days.
VP2 inhibited BFU-E colony formation by about 55%. CFU-GM and CFU-GEMM colony formation was also affected. Fragmented VP2 retained the inhibitory effect. The ex vivo colony-forming capacity of macaque bone marrow cells was lower in animals that received VP2 injections, and a drop in hematocrit values was noted in one animal.
VP2 has an inhibitory effect on hematopoiesis in vitro and in vivo. An active region within VP2 is implied, which would be a strong candidate for use as a medicament in diseases such as polycytemia vera.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maternal infections with parvovirus B19, cytomegalovirus (CMV) and enterovirus have been associated with intrauterine fetal death (IUFD), but the incidence of these infections is not clear. This prospective study was conducted to estimate this incidence.
A prospective study of 38 months was conducted on cases of IUFD referred to Huddinge University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. Placental biopsies, fetal blood and amniotic fluid were collected from cases of IUFD (n=52). Placental biopsies from normal pregnancies at term (n=53) were used as controls. These tissues were examined for parvovirus B19 DNA, CMV DNA and enterovirus RNA using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Maternal viral serology was measured in 46 cases and virus isolation for enterovirus in maternal stool samples was performed in 31 cases.
Viral nucleic acid was recovered in at least one tissue sample from six cases of fetal death (parvovirus B19 in two cases, CMV in three and enterovirus in one), while all placental biopsies from controls were found negative. Serological signs of primary maternal infection were found in two of the cases, and virus isolation for enterovirus was negative in all samples examined.
Parvovirus B19, CMV and enterovirus may be considered as etiologic agents in cases of fetal death. PCR on placental and/or fetal tissue improves diagnostic accuracy for these infections.
Journal of Perinatal Medicine 02/2004; 32(6):516-21. · 1.95 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adverse pregnancy outcome due to human parvovirus B19 (hereafter referred to as "parvovirus B19") has been characterized, in numerous reports, as an event that occurs during the first and second trimesters and is strongly associated with symptoms of fetal hydrops. Recent findings have indicated that parvovirus B19-associated intrauterine fetal death (IUFD) is also a problem in late gestation, although its clinical presentation is aberrant, lacking signs of fetal hydrops. We outlined the clinical presentation and assessed the frequency of parvovirus B19 infection in a retrospective analysis of 92 unselected cases of IUFD that occurred during or after gestational week 22. By polymerase chain reaction, parvovirus B19 DNA was detected in 13 (14%) of the 92 cases. Only 2 of the parvovirus B19 DNA-positive cases were hydropic, both representing early IUFDs. This finding indicates that parvovirus B19-associated IUFD in late gestation is a common finding and that hydropic presentation is rare. This knowledge may contribute to a reduction in the number of unexplained cases of IUFD.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report a case of fulminant myocarditis in an 11-month-old female infant who had no other clinical signs of parvovirus infection. The patient presented with severe respiratory distress and died in sudden cardiac arrest 3 h after admission. The clinical presentation was similar to that of an asthmatic attack. Autopsy revealed signs of acute lymphocytic myocarditis. Parvovirus DNA was demonstrated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of tissue sections obtained from the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, and spleen. Transmission electron microscopy of myocardial tissue showed crystalline arrays with the appearance of parvovirus. The results of immunohistochemical analysis for the detection of parvovirus antigens were negative, and no viral inclusions were demonstrable. We suggest that the current diagnostic procedure underestimates the prevalence of parvovirus-associated myocarditis. PCR analysis should be used as a complement in suspected cases, to enhance the rate of detection of the infection and to reach a correct diagnosis.