Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLD), ranging from lymphoid hyperplasia to clonal malignancy, are a severe complication arising in solid organ transplant patients. Their reported incidence ranges from 1 to 20%, according to factors such as type of transplanted organ and the age of recipients. A strong correlation between Epstein Barr virus (EBV) infection, the grade and type of immunosuppression and the development of PTLD has been recognized. The detection and quantification of EBV-DNA load in peripheral blood have been utilized as prognostic markers for the development of PTLD, showing a correlation between high levels of EBV-DNA in the blood and the development of PTLD. In this study, we monitored EBV viral load monthly in 15 renal transplant recipients for six months. The number of EBV-DNA copies was measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and serum samples by a quantitative PCR protocol developed in our laboratory that employes a previous screening of samples containing a significant number of viral DNA copies (> or =1000 copies/10(5) PBMC or 100 microl serum) by semi-quantitative PCR followed by a precise quantification of the only significant samples by quantitative-competitive (QC)-PCR. Our 15 renal transplant patients neither developed PTLD nor had recurrent acute illnesses or acute graft rejections during the study. The results obtained in the monthly follow up of EB viral load in PBMC samples confirmed its fluctuation in asymptomatic patients reported in literature. In particular, 5/14 (35.7%) of EBV seropositive patients had an EBV-DNA load equal to 1000 EBV copies /10(5) PBMC (roughly corresponding to 10.000 copies/microg PBMC DNA), and 1/14 (7.1%) reached 5000 EBV copies /10(5) PBMC (roughly corresponding to 50.000 copies/microg PBMC DNA), at least once in our study. In the EBV seronegative patient, EBV-DNA in PBMC samples was always undetectable (less than 100 DNA copies/10(5) PBMC). EBV-DNA load in all serum samples was less than threshold value of our quantification protocol (<100 DNA copies/100 microl serum), supporting the literature data. With regard to immunosuppressive treatment, 66.7% of the six patients in whom EBV load reached values equal to or higher than 1000 DNA copies/10(5) PBMC, were on FK506 whereas only 33.3% of them were on CyA. In conclusion, further investigations are needed to better understand the role of EBV infection in the pathogenesis of PTLD in immunosuppressed patients. Given the high positive predictive value of EB viral load in peripheral blood for diagnosis of PTLD reported by several authors, and the described absence of correlation between the serological evidence of EBV reactivation and EB viral load, EBV viral load measurement in PBMC and serum samples using quantitative PCR techniques is a powerful diagnostic tool to monitor transplanted patients at risk to develop PTLD.

Epstein Barr viral load monitoring by quantitative PCR in renal transplant patients

MERLINO, Chiara;CAVALLO, Rossana;BERGALLO, Massimiliano;NEGRO PONZI, Alessandro;CAVALLO, Giovanni
2003

Abstract

Post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders (PTLD), ranging from lymphoid hyperplasia to clonal malignancy, are a severe complication arising in solid organ transplant patients. Their reported incidence ranges from 1 to 20%, according to factors such as type of transplanted organ and the age of recipients. A strong correlation between Epstein Barr virus (EBV) infection, the grade and type of immunosuppression and the development of PTLD has been recognized. The detection and quantification of EBV-DNA load in peripheral blood have been utilized as prognostic markers for the development of PTLD, showing a correlation between high levels of EBV-DNA in the blood and the development of PTLD. In this study, we monitored EBV viral load monthly in 15 renal transplant recipients for six months. The number of EBV-DNA copies was measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and serum samples by a quantitative PCR protocol developed in our laboratory that employes a previous screening of samples containing a significant number of viral DNA copies (> or =1000 copies/10(5) PBMC or 100 microl serum) by semi-quantitative PCR followed by a precise quantification of the only significant samples by quantitative-competitive (QC)-PCR. Our 15 renal transplant patients neither developed PTLD nor had recurrent acute illnesses or acute graft rejections during the study. The results obtained in the monthly follow up of EB viral load in PBMC samples confirmed its fluctuation in asymptomatic patients reported in literature. In particular, 5/14 (35.7%) of EBV seropositive patients had an EBV-DNA load equal to 1000 EBV copies /10(5) PBMC (roughly corresponding to 10.000 copies/microg PBMC DNA), and 1/14 (7.1%) reached 5000 EBV copies /10(5) PBMC (roughly corresponding to 50.000 copies/microg PBMC DNA), at least once in our study. In the EBV seronegative patient, EBV-DNA in PBMC samples was always undetectable (less than 100 DNA copies/10(5) PBMC). EBV-DNA load in all serum samples was less than threshold value of our quantification protocol (<100 DNA copies/100 microl serum), supporting the literature data. With regard to immunosuppressive treatment, 66.7% of the six patients in whom EBV load reached values equal to or higher than 1000 DNA copies/10(5) PBMC, were on FK506 whereas only 33.3% of them were on CyA. In conclusion, further investigations are needed to better understand the role of EBV infection in the pathogenesis of PTLD in immunosuppressed patients. Given the high positive predictive value of EB viral load in peripheral blood for diagnosis of PTLD reported by several authors, and the described absence of correlation between the serological evidence of EBV reactivation and EB viral load, EBV viral load measurement in PBMC and serum samples using quantitative PCR techniques is a powerful diagnostic tool to monitor transplanted patients at risk to develop PTLD.
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C. MERLINO; R. CAVALLO; M. BERGALLO; F. GIACCHINO; C. BOLLERO; A. NEGRO PONZI; G. CAVALLO
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/40017
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