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Acta Médica Costarricense

On-line version ISSN 0001-6002Print version ISSN 0001-6012


ROJAS-CORDERO, Elizabeth; RODRIGUEZ-SEVILLA, María; HERRERA-MUNOZ, Álvaro  and  KARKASHIAN-CORDOBA, James. Viral loads in transplant patients and cytomegalovirus genotyping. Acta méd. costarric [online]. 2021, vol.63, n.2, pp.78-87. ISSN 0001-6002.


The objective of this study was to determine the course of viral infections during a period of one year, by measuring viral loads for Adenovirus, BK virus, Epstein-Barr virus, Cytomegalovirus and Human herpesvirus 6, in 30 patients from the San Juan de Dios National Hospital, undergoing kidney or hematopoietic progenitor cell transplants.


Viral loads were determined in ten blood samples from each patient: a pre- transplant sample, eight samples obtained at two-week intervals post-transplant and one last sample at six months post-transplant. Viral quantification was performed by real-time polymerase chain reaction and, only for Adenovirus, by end-point polymerase chain reaction. Also, Cytomegalovirus genotypes were determined in patients that tested positive for this virus, by polymerase chain reaction directed towards the glycoprotein B gene and sequencing of the amplified fragments. These sequences were compared and aligned with a reference sequence, using the Clustal Omega Program.


The results of the study indicated that 77% of the patients had at least one of the five viruses detected and the virus with the highest prevalence was Cytomegalovirus, exhibiting 57% positivity in the total population studied. The most frequent Cytomegalovirus genotype detected was genotype 3. The viral load behavior was monitored for each virus analyzed as well as the incidence proportion between male and female patients.


Viral quantification and characterization in transplant patients allows for better clinical management of patients with opportunistic infections and also a better management of pharmacological therapies.

Keywords : Transplantation; Immunosuppression; Viral load; Genotype.

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