Cytomegalovirus (CMV) continues to be one of the most important pathogens that universally affect solid organ and allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipients. Lack of effective CMV-specific immunity is the common factor that predisposes to the risk of CMV reactivation and clinical disease after transplantation. Antiviral drugs are the cornerstone for prevention and treatment of CMV infection and disease. Over the years, the CMV DNA polymerase inhibitor, ganciclovir (and valganciclovir), have served as the backbone for management, while foscarnet and cidofovir are reserved for the management of CMV infection that is refractory or resistant to ganciclovir treatment. In this review, we highlight the role of the newly approved drug, letermovir, a viral terminase inhibitor, for CMV prevention after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Advances in immunologic monitoring may allow for an individualized approach to management of CMV after transplantation. Specifically, the potential role of CMV-specific T-cell measurements in guiding the need for the treatment of asymptomatic CMV infection and the duration of treatment of CMV disease is discussed. The role of adoptive immunotherapy, using ex vivo-generated CMV-specific T cells, is highlighted. This article provides a review of novel drugs, tests, and strategies in optimizing our current approaches to prevention and treatment of CMV in transplant recipients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)