Transplantation of solid organ recipients shedding Epstein-Barr virus DNA pre-transplant: A prospective study

Priya S. Verghese*, David O. Schmeling, Emma A. Filtz, Jennifer M. Grimm, Arthur J. Matas, Henry H. Balfour

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) poses a significant threat to patient and graft survival post-transplant. We hypothesized that recipients who shed EBV at transplant had less immunologic control of the virus and hence were more likely to have active EBV infection and disease post-transplant. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a 5-year prospective study in primary solid organ transplant recipients. We measured EBV DNA in oral washes and blood samples by quantitative PCR before transplant and periodically thereafter for up to 4 years. Pre-transplant samples were available from 98 subjects. EBV DNA was detected pre-transplant in 32 of 95 (34%) and 5 of 93 subjects (5%) in oral wash and blood, respectively. Recipients with and without detectable pre-transplant EBV DNA were not significantly different demographically and had no significant difference in patient and graft survival (P =.6 for both comparisons) or post-transplant EBV viremia-free survival (P =.8). There were no cases of EBV-related disease or post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD) in any of the patients with detectable EBV DNA pre-transplant. In conclusion, detectable EBV DNA pre-transplant was not associated with differences in patient/graft survival, post-transplant EBV viremia, or EBV-related diseases including PTLD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere13116
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • EBV viremia
  • PTLD
  • pre-transplant EBV
  • viral complications of transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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