J Microbiol Immunol Infect. 2021 Jan 13:S1684-1182(21)00014-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jmii.2021.01.001. Online ahead of print.
Because of the high incidence of cytomegalovirus (CMV) seropositivity in the population, CMV infection is a common and severe complication of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) in Taiwan. Here we propose a CMV management strategy for patients undergoing allo-HSCT from the Taiwanese perspective, which focuses on the epidemiology, diagnosis, monitoring, prophylaxis, and treatment of CMV infection after allo-HSCT. In terms of CMV monitoring, weekly CMV monitoring with the COBAS® AmpliPrep system is the standard approach because the pp65 CMV antigenemia assay has a lower sensitivity than CMV monitoring with the COBAS® AmpliPrep system. However, pp65 CMV antigenemia assay has a better correlation with clinical symptoms in immunocompromised patients. A 14-week prophylactic course of letermovir is recommended for allo-HSCT recipients in Taiwan, especially for recipients of hematopoietic stem cells from mismatched unrelated and haploidentical donors. Preemptive ganciclovir therapy should be initiated when the CMV viral load exceeds 1000 copies/mL, and should not be discontinued until CMV DNA is no longer detected in the blood. For allo-HSCT recipients who have CMV-related diseases, ganciclovir with or without CMV-specific intravenous immunoglobulin is the standard of care. The limited availability of foscarnet, an alternative for patients who are not responsive to or cannot tolerate ganciclovir, is a crucial issue in Taiwan. For pediatric allo-HSCT recipients, more data are needed to propose a CMV management recommendation.