Cord blood transplantation, which has lower risk of graft-versus-host disease than bone marrow transplantation, might have higher risk of infections. A system to quantify four herpesviruses, CMV, human herpesvirus 6 (HHV6), EBV, varicella-zoster virus using the real-time PCR assay was established and applied for prospective viral load monitoring in three recipients undergoing cord blood transplantation. CMV and HHV6 were detected in peripheral blood from all three recipients, while EBV was detected in two. Varicellazoster virus was not detected at all. At the peak of HHV6 or CMV, each patient showed virus-related symptoms. During the pre-transplant period, CMV DNA was detected in two recipients who later developed CMV-related diseases. These observations indicate that our system is not only useful for managing herpesviruses infections in transplant recipients, but also a powerful method for clarifying the relationships between the viral load and clinical symptoms.
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