Medical microbiology and immunology 2017 07 12() doi 10.1007/s00430-017-0511-4
Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) is an established treatment option for several hematological diseases. However, the first year post-transplantation is often complicated by infections and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Improvements in immunological monitoring could reduce such post-transplant complications. Torque Teno virus (TTV), a chronically persisting DNA virus, is reported to be a marker for immune function in immunocompromised patients. In the present study, the TTV kinetics were analyzed to investigate the potential role of TTV viremia as immune-competence read-out after allo-HSCT. Twenty-three monocentric allo-HSCT recipients were retrospectively tested for TTV-DNA in whole blood at given day post-transplant. Dynamics of TTV viremia was analyzed with respect to episodes of non-TTV viral reactivations (CMV, EBV, and BKPyV), acute GVHD, and recovery of immune cells. Recipients affected by persisting viral infections and/or GVHD during the first 100 days after allo-HSCT showed a significantly higher median TTV load at day +30 than patients with a less complicated clinical course (p = 0.005). This was also associated with a total lymphocyte count <5.5E+08 cells/L in this high-risk group (p = 0.039). These findings suggest that TTV could represent an additional parameter to identify patients at higher risk for complications in the first 100 days following allo-HSCT. Prospective studies, including the monitoring of lymphocyte subsets, are required to define the potential use of TTV in immunological monitoring after allo-HSCT.