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.
- EBV viremia
- pre-transplant EBV
- viral complications of transplant