Navigation Links
CMV infections affect more than just patients with compromised immune systems, researchers find

An infection due to a virus called cytomegalovirus (CMV), which most commonly affects people with compromised immune systems, can also affect hospital intensive-care patients who have no immune-system problems, University of Washington researchers have found. CMV infection is also associated with longer hospital and intensive-care unit (ICU) stays independent of other causes, according to the study, published July 23 in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.

About half of all healthy adults in the United States are exposed to CMV during their life, researchers estimate, and control the infection with their immune system, often without even experiencing symptoms. In some people with reduced immune function, such as organ-transplant recipients, the virus can re-activate in the body and cause serious health problems.

In this study, researchers looked at CMV reactivation in 120 patients with no immune-system problems who were admitted to a hospital ICU. They also analyzed how CMV reactivation affected a patient's long-term health outcomes, including the amount of time the patient had to spend in the hospital or ICU and their risk of death.

The researchers found that CMV reactivation was surprisingly common in ICU patients, with about 30 percent exhibiting an active CMV infection in their bloodstream at various points during the 30-day study period. Even when controlling for other possible variables, CMV reactivation was strongly associated with a longer hospital and ICU stay for patients.

"Other studies have looked at the reactivation rate of CMV, but what makes this study different is that we're looking at people with apparently normal immune systems who were being treated in the ICU for trauma or another medical problem," explained Dr. Ajit Limaye, associate professor of medicine and laboratory medicine at the UW, who led the study. "A substantial number of these patients had CMV reactivate in their bloodstream. What's interesting is that having the virus reactivate was associated with longer ICU and hospital stays, independent of other potential variables."

Longer hospital stays can drive up health-care costs, and can be inconvenient or uncomfortable for patients, Limaye added.

Patients without immune system problems are not typically tested for CMV. However, despite the study findings, Limaye said, it would be premature to start routine testing of ICU patients for reactivation of the virus.

First, the researchers will need to see whether using anti-viral drugs to treat regular-immunity ICU patients can help cut down on reactivation of CMV, or whether it can cut down on the length of hospital stays for those patients with the reactivated virus.

"There are side effects associated with the treatment for CMV, and CMV might simply be a marker, rather than a cause," Limaye explained. "Because of that, we need to test the theory that by treating CMV we can improve the endpoint -- the length of stay in the hospital."

If the planned clinical trial shows that treatment can cut down on CMV reactivation and reduce hospital stays for those patients, Limaye said, it could bring about a new paradigm for improving outcomes for hospital ICU patients. ICUs are typically focused on pulmonary and critical care, he explained, but CMV is an infectious-disease issue.


Contact: Justin Reedy
University of Washington

Related biology news :

1. Analysis of RNA role in spreading disease advances study of damaging plant infections
2. Bacterial infections in premature babies more common than previously realized
3. New drug targets may fight tuberculosis and other bacterial infections in novel way
4. Bacteria that cause urinary tract infections invade bladder cells
5. Best treatment identified to reduce deadly Staph infections
6. Gamma interferon could aid fight against fungal infections
7. Scripps research team blocks bacterial communication system to prevent deadly staph infections
8. Handbook helps parents deal with childhood infections
9. Evidence of a relationship between swimming babies and infections
10. Nutrient pollution drives frog deformities by ramping up infections, says CU-Boulder study
11. UCLA/VA partners with ASU to advance biosensor technology for urinary tract infections
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/22/2016)...  The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics was ... as one of the fastest-growing trade shows during the Fastest ... in Las Vegas . ... in each of the following categories: net square feet of ... attendees. The 2015 ACMG Annual Meeting was ranked 23 out ...
(Date:6/16/2016)... SAN FRANCISCO , June 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... Market size is expected to reach USD ... report by Grand View Research, Inc. Technological proliferation ... and banking applications are expected to drive the ... ) , The development of ...
(Date:6/3/2016)... 3, 2016 Das ... Nepal hat ein 44 ... geprägter Kennzeichen, einschließlich Personalisierung, Registrierung und IT-Infrastruktur, ... Produktion und Implementierung von Identitätsmanagementlösungen. Zahlreiche renommierte ... Januar teilgenommen, aber Decatur wurde als konformste ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)...  Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: SQNM ), a ... the development of innovative products and services, announced today ... States denied its petition to review decisions ... U.S. Patent No. 6,258,540 (",540 Patent") are not patent ... Supreme Court,s Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories decision.  ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Rolf K. Hoffmann, ... faculty of the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School effective ... at UNC Kenan-Flagler, with a focus on the school’s international efforts, leading classes ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... DIEGO , June 24, 2016 ... more sensitively detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors ... circulating tumor cells (CTCs). The new test has ... HRD-targeted therapeutics in multiple cancer types. ... targeting DNA damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... announce the launch of their brand, UP4™ Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The ... is proud to add Target to its list of well-respected retailers. This list ...
Breaking Biology Technology: