High rate of adenovirus detection in gastrointestinal biopsies of symptomatic stem cell transplant recipients

Hagar Z. Pikkel-Geva, Sigal Grisariu, Mila Rivkin, Polina Stepensky, Jacob Strahilevitz, Dina Averbuch, Caplan Orit, Ehud Even-Or, Irina Zaidman, Eran Zimran, Dana G. Wolf*, Batia Avni*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is a major human adenovirus (HAdV) replication site in patients undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), yet the prevalence and correlates of HAdV GI infection in this setting have remained poorly recognized, especially among adult HSCT recipients. Design or methods: We retrospectively studied the prevalence and risk factors of HAdV GI-tissue infection in HSCT recipients (73 adults and 15 children) with GI symptoms who underwent GI-tissue biopsy between January-2012 and December-2017. The presence of HAdV in the GI tissues was determined by real-time PCR. Results: HAdV GI-tissue infection was detected in 21 (23.9%) patients, with similar infection rates identified in adults and children. GI-tissue detection was more common at late (>100 days) compared to early times post-transplantation (50% vs. 12.9%, p <.001). The presence of bloody diarrhea, Arab ethnicity (p =.014) and concurrent cytomegalovirus GI-tissue detection (p =.025) were significantly correlated with HAdV GI-tissue infection, while chronic graft versus host disease was of borderline association (p =.055). Conclusions: Our findings reveal a high rate and new clinical-demographic correlates of HAdV GI-tissue infection in adult and pediatric HSCT recipients with GI symptoms. The findings highlight the need for future prospective studies to assess the relatedness of HAdV infection to the GI symptoms, and the prevalence, impact, and treatment of HAdV GI infection in HSCT recipients.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere15098
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors. Clinical Transplantation published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • adenovirdae
  • biopsy
  • gastrointestinal tract
  • hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
  • polymerase chain reaction
  • risk factors


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