Publications by authors named "Aloys C M Kroes"

65 Publications

Recommendations for the introduction of metagenomic high-throughput sequencing in clinical virology, part I: Wet lab procedure.

J Clin Virol 2021 Jan 18;134:104691. Epub 2020 Nov 18.

Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

Metagenomic high-throughput sequencing (mHTS) is a hypothesis-free, universal pathogen detection technique for determination of the DNA/RNA sequences in a variety of sample types and infectious syndromes. mHTS is still in its early stages of translating into clinical application. To support the development, implementation and standardization of mHTS procedures for virus diagnostics, the European Society for Clinical Virology (ESCV) Network on Next-Generation Sequencing (ENNGS) has been established. The aim of ENNGS is to bring together professionals involved in mHTS for viral diagnostics to share methodologies and experiences, and to develop application recommendations. This manuscript aims to provide practical recommendations for the wet lab procedures necessary for implementation of mHTS for virus diagnostics and to give recommendations for development and validation of laboratory methods, including mHTS quality assurance, control and quality assessment protocols.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcv.2020.104691DOI Listing
January 2021

Rhinovirus Detection in the Nasopharynx of Children Undergoing Cardiac Surgery Is Not Associated With Longer PICU Length of Stay: Results of the Impact of Rhinovirus Infection After Cardiac Surgery in Kids (RISK) Study.

Pediatr Crit Care Med 2021 Jan;22(1):e79-e90

Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Objectives: To determine whether children with asymptomatic carriage of rhinovirus in the nasopharynx before elective cardiac surgery have an increased risk of prolonged PICU length of stay.

Study Design: Prospective, single-center, blinded observational cohort study.

Setting: PICU in a tertiary hospital in The Netherlands.

Patients: Children under 12 years old undergoing elective cardiac surgery were enrolled in the study after informed consent of the parents/guardians.

Interventions: The parents/guardians filled out a questionnaire regarding respiratory symptoms. On the day of the operation, a nasopharyngeal swab was obtained. Clinical data were collected during PICU admission, and PICU/hospital length of stay were reported. If a patient was still intubated 3 days after operation, an additional nasopharyngeal swab was collected. Nasopharyngeal swabs were tested for rhinovirus and other respiratory viruses with polymerase chain reaction.

Measurements And Main Results: Of the 163 included children, 74 (45%) tested rhinovirus positive. Rhinovirus-positive patients did not have a prolonged PICU length of stay (median 2 d each; p = 0.257). Rhinovirus-positive patients had a significantly shorter median hospital length of stay compared with rhinovirus-negative patients (8 vs 9 d, respectively; p = 0.006). Overall, 97 of the patients (60%) tested positive for one or more respiratory virus. Virus-positive patients had significantly shorter PICU and hospital length of stay, ventilatory support, and nonmechanical ventilation. Virus-negative patients had respiratory symptoms suspected for a respiratory infection more often. In 31% of the children, the parents reported mild upper respiratory complaints a day prior to the cardiac surgery, this was associated with postextubation stridor, but no other clinical outcome measures.

Conclusions: Preoperative rhinovirus polymerase chain reaction positivity is not associated with prolonged PICU length of stay. Our findings do not support the use of routine polymerase chain reaction testing for respiratory viruses in asymptomatic children admitted for elective cardiac surgery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PCC.0000000000002522DOI Listing
January 2021

Coronavirus discovery by metagenomic sequencing: a tool for pandemic preparedness.

J Clin Virol 2020 Oct 21;131:104594. Epub 2020 Aug 21.

Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), Leiden, the Netherlands.

Introduction: The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic of 2020 is a prime example of the omnipresent threat of emerging viruses that can infect humans. A protocol for the identification of novel coronaviruses by viral metagenomic sequencing in diagnostic laboratories may contribute to pandemic preparedness.

Aim: The aim of this study is to validate a metagenomic virus discovery protocol as a tool for coronavirus pandemic preparedness.

Methods: The performance of a viral metagenomic protocol in a clinical setting for the identification of novel coronaviruses was tested using clinical samples containing SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV, in combination with databases generated to contain only viruses of before the discovery dates of these coronaviruses, to mimic virus discovery.

Results: Classification of NGS reads using Centrifuge and Genome Detective resulted in assignment of the reads to the closest relatives of the emerging coronaviruses. Low nucleotide and amino acid identity (81% and 84%, respectively, for SARS-CoV-2) in combination with up to 98% genome coverage were indicative for a related, novel coronavirus. Capture probes targeting vertebrate viruses, designed in 2015, enhanced both sequencing depth and coverage of the SARS-CoV-2 genome, the latter increasing from 71% to 98%.

Conclusion: The model used for simulation of virus discovery enabled validation of the metagenomic sequencing protocol. The metagenomic protocol with virus probes designed before the pandemic, can assist the detection and identification of novel coronaviruses directly in clinical samples.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcv.2020.104594DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7441049PMC
October 2020

Improved diagnosis of viral encephalitis in adult and pediatric hematological patients using viral metagenomics.

J Clin Virol 2020 09 31;130:104566. Epub 2020 Jul 31.

Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

Metagenomic sequencing is a powerful technique that enables detection of the full spectrum of pathogens present in any specimen in a single test. Hence, metagenomics is increasingly being applied for detection of viruses in clinical cases with suspected infections of unknown etiology and a large number of relevant potential causes. This is typically the case in patients presenting with encephalitis, in particular when immunity is impaired by underlying disorders. In this study, viral metagenomics has been applied to a cohort of hematological patients with encephalitis of unknown origin. Because viral loads in cerebrospinal fluid of patients with encephalitis are generally low, the technical performance of a metagenomic sequencing protocol with viral enrichment by capture probes targeting all known vertebrate viral sequences was studied. Subsequently, the optimized viral metagenomics protocol was applied to a cohort of hematological patients with encephalitis of unknown origin. Viral enrichment by capture probes increased the viral sequence read count of metagenomics on cerebrospinal fluid samples 100 - 10.000 fold, compared to unenriched metagenomic sequencing. In five out of 41 (12%) hematological patients with encephalitis, a virus was detected by viral metagenomics which had not been detected by current routine diagnostics. BK polyomavirus, hepatitis E virus, human herpes virus-6 and Epstein Barr virus were identified by this unbiased metagenomic approach. This study demonstrated that hematological patients with encephalitis of unknown origin may benefit from early viral metagenomics testing as a single step approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcv.2020.104566DOI Listing
September 2020

Diagnosis of intrauterine parvovirus B19 infection at birth - Value of DNA detection in neonatal blood and dried blood spots.

J Clin Virol 2020 08 2;129:104482. Epub 2020 Jun 2.

Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Background: Diagnosis of congenital viral infection at birth is generally attempted by direct detection of the virus by PCR in various neonatal materials. How to reliably diagnose intrauterine infection with parvovirus B19 (B19 V) at birth is unknown.

Objectives: To evaluate the performance of B19 V DNA detection in cord blood (CB) or neonatal dried blood spots (DBS) in diagnosing fetal infection.

Study Design: Two cohorts of children diagnosed prenatally with an intrauterine B19 V infection were included in this study. CB samples of intrauterine B19 V infections that were sent to a reference laboratory for congenital infections in Stuttgart, Germany in the period 1995-2014 were tested in triplicate for B19 V DNA by quantitative PCR. DBS from children with intrauterine B19 V infection that underwent IUT at the LUMC, Leiden, the Netherlands in the period 2009-2014 were tested for B19 V DNA by quantitative B19 V PCR in triplicate.

Results: Fourteen of twenty (70 %) CB samples tested positive for B19 V DNA. The positivity rate was 40 % (4/10) in those with a prenatal diagnosis <20 weeks gestation. When intrauterine B19 V infection was diagnosed thereafter, 100 % (10/10) samples were B19 V DNA positive. Of the thirteen available DBS, twelve (92 %) tested positive. Viral load in CB and DBS corresponded inversely with time from fetal diagnosis to birth.

Conclusion: B19 V DNA can be detected in neonatal blood samples of children following intrauterine B19 V infection, although the possibility of false-negatives, even in severe infections, should be considered. B19 V viral load at birth correlates with timing of infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcv.2020.104482DOI Listing
August 2020

Retrospective Validation of a Metagenomic Sequencing Protocol for Combined Detection of RNA and DNA Viruses Using Respiratory Samples from Pediatric Patients.

J Mol Diagn 2020 02 16;22(2):196-207. Epub 2019 Dec 16.

Department of Medical Microbiology, Department of Biomedical Data Sciences, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Viruses are the main cause of respiratory tract infections. Metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) enables unbiased detection of all potential pathogens. To apply mNGS in viral diagnostics, sensitive and simultaneous detection of RNA and DNA viruses is needed. Herein, were studied the performance of an in-house mNGS protocol for routine diagnostics of viral respiratory infections with potential for automated pan-pathogen detection. The sequencing protocol and bioinformatics analysis were designed and optimized, including exogenous internal controls. Subsequently, the protocol was retrospectively validated using 25 clinical respiratory samples. The developed protocol using Illumina NextSeq 500 sequencing showed high repeatability. Use of the National Center for Biotechnology Information's RefSeq database as opposed to the National Center for Biotechnology Information's nucleotide database led to enhanced specificity of classification of viral pathogens. A correlation was established between read counts and PCR cycle threshold value. Sensitivity of mNGS, compared with PCR, varied up to 83%, with specificity of 94%, dependent on the cutoff for defining positive mNGS results. Viral pathogens only detected by mNGS, not present in the routine diagnostic workflow, were influenza C, KI polyomavirus, cytomegalovirus, and enterovirus. Sensitivity and analytical specificity of this mNGS protocol were comparable to PCR and higher when considering off-PCR target viral pathogens. One single test detected all potential viral pathogens and simultaneously obtained detailed information on detected viruses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmoldx.2019.10.007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7106021PMC
February 2020

The respiratory virome and exacerbations in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

PLoS One 2019 24;14(10):e0223952. Epub 2019 Oct 24.

Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Introduction: Exacerbations are major contributors to morbidity and mortality in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and respiratory bacterial and viral infections are an important trigger. However, using conventional diagnostic techniques, a causative agent is not always found. Metagenomic next-generation sequencing (mNGS) allows analysis of the complete virome, but has not yet been applied in COPD exacerbations.

Objectives: To study the respiratory virome in nasopharyngeal samples during COPD exacerbations using mNGS.

Study Design: 88 nasopharyngeal swabs from 63 patients from the Bergen COPD Exacerbation Study (2006-2010) were analysed by mNGS and in-house qPCR for respiratory viruses. Both DNA and RNA were sequenced simultaneously using an Illumina library preparation protocol with in-house adaptations.

Results: By mNGS, 24/88 samples tested positive. Sensitivity and specificity, as compared with PCR, were 96% and 98% for diagnostic targets (23/24 and 1093/1120, respectively). Additional viral pathogens detected by mNGS were herpes simplex virus type 1 and coronavirus OC43. A positive correlation was found between Cq value and mNGS viral normalized species reads (log value) (p = 0.002). Patients with viral pathogens had lower percentages of bacteriophages (p<0.001). No correlation was found between viral reads and clinical markers.

Conclusions: The mNGS protocol used was highly sensitive and specific for semi-quantitative detection of respiratory viruses. Excellent negative predictive value implicates the power of mNGS to exclude any pathogenic respiratory viral infectious cause in one test, with consequences for clinical decision making. Reduced abundance of bacteriophages in COPD patients with viral pathogens implicates skewing of the virome during infection, with potential consequences for the bacterial populations, during infection.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0223952PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6812800PMC
March 2020

Impact of congenital cytomegalovirus infection on transcriptomes from archived dried blood spots in relation to long-term clinical outcome.

PLoS One 2018 19;13(7):e0200652. Epub 2018 Jul 19.

Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Congenital Cytomegalovirus infection (cCMV) is the leading infection in determining permanent long-term impairments (LTI), and its pathogenesis is largely unknown due to the complex interplay between viral, maternal, placental, and child factors. The cellular activity, considered to be the result of the response to exogenous and endogenous factors, is captured by the determination of gene expression profiles. In this study, we determined whole blood transcriptomes in relation to cCMV, CMV viral load and LTI development at 6 years of age by using RNA isolated from neonatal dried blood spots (DBS) stored at room temperature for 8 years. As DBS were assumed to mainly reflect the neonatal immune system, particular attention was given to the immune pathways using the global test. Additionally, differential expression of individual genes was performed using the voom/limma function packages. We demonstrated feasibility of RNA sequencing from archived neonatal DBS of children with cCMV, and non-infected controls, in relation to LTI and CMV viral load. Despite the lack of statistical power to detect individual genes differences, pathway analysis suggested the involvement of innate immune response with higher CMV viral loads, and of anti-inflammatory markers in infected children that did not develop LTI. Finally, the T cell exhaustion observed in infected neonates, in particular with higher viral load, did not correlate with LTI, therefore other mechanisms are likely to be involved in the long-term immune dysfunction. Despite these data demonstrate limitation in determining prognostic markers for LTI by means of transcriptome analysis, this exploratory study represents a first step in unraveling the pathogenesis of cCMV, and the aforementioned pathways certainly merit further evaluation.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0200652PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6053152PMC
January 2019

Maternal and child human leukocyte antigens in congenital cytomegalovirus infection.

J Reprod Immunol 2018 04 31;126:39-45. Epub 2018 Jan 31.

Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden (LUMC), The Netherlands. Electronic address:

Congenital Cytomegalovirus infection (cCMV) is the most common cause of congenital infections worldwide causing permanent long-term impairment (LTI). cCMV immunopathogenesis remains largely unknown due to the complex interplay between viral, maternal, placental and child factors. The aim of this study was to determine the possible role of particular HLA antigens, of the number of HLA mismatches (mm) and non-inherited maternal antigens (NIMAs) in a large retrospective nation-wide cohort of children with cCMV and their mothers. HLA Class I (HLA-A, HLA-B and HLA-C) and HLA Class II (HLA-DR and HLA-DQ) were assessed in 96 mother-child pairs in relation to a control group of 5604 Dutch blood donors, but no significant differences were observed. Next, although these HLA antigens could not be assessed in relation to symptoms at birth, nor to LTI, due to the low number of cases, they could be evaluated in relation to CMV viral load. HLA-DRB1*04, and potentially HLA-B*51, was shown to have a protective role in the children as its frequency was increased in the low viral load group compared to the high viral load group, and this remained significant after correction. The number of HLA mm and of NIMAs were not associated to symptoms at birth nor to LTI or viral load. In conclusion, although none of the HLA alleles could be put forward as prognostic marker for long-term outcome, our findings give useful insights into cCMV pathogenesis, and identify potential HLAs that correlate with a better viral control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jri.2018.01.002DOI Listing
April 2018

Zoonotic Infection With Pigeon Paramyxovirus Type 1 Linked to Fatal Pneumonia.

J Infect Dis 2018 08;218(7):1037-1044

Department of Viroscience, Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

The characteristics and risk factors of pigeon paramyxovirus type 1 (PPMV-1) infection in humans are poorly known. We performed virological, pathological, and epidemiological analyses of a Dutch case, and compared the results with those of a US case. Both infections occurred in transplant patients under immunosuppressive therapy and caused fatal respiratory failure. Both virus isolates clustered with PPMV-1, which has pigeons and doves as reservoir. Experimentally inoculated pigeons became infected and transmitted the virus to naive pigeons. Both patients were likely infected by contact with infected pigeons or doves. Given the large populations of feral pigeons with PPMV-1 infection in cities, increasing urbanization, and a higher proportion of immunocompromised individuals, the risk of severe human PPMV-1 infections may increase. We recommend testing for avian paramyxovirus type 1, including PPMV-1, in respiratory disease cases where common respiratory pathogens cannot be identified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiy036DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7107406PMC
August 2018

Congenital Cytomegalovirus Infection: Maternal-Child HLA-C, HLA-E, and HLA-G Affect Clinical Outcome.

Front Immunol 2017 5;8:1904. Epub 2018 Jan 5.

Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, Netherlands.

Congenital CMV infection (cCMV) is the most common congenital infection causing permanent long-term impairments (LTI). cCMV immunopathogenesis is largely unknown due to the complex interplay between viral, maternal, placental, and child factors. In this study, a large retrospective nationwide cohort of children with cCMV and their mothers was used. HLA-C, HLA-E, and HLA-G were assessed in 96 mother-child pairs in relation to symptoms at birth and LTI at 6 years of age. The mothers were additionally typed for killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors. The maternal HLA-G 14 bp deletion/deletion polymorphism was associated with a worse outcome, as the immunomodulation effect of higher protein levels may induce less CMV control, with a direct impact on placenta and fetus. The absence of maternal HLA-C belonging to the C2 group was associated with symptoms at birth, as activating signals on decidual NK may override inhibitory signals, contributing to a placental pro-inflammatory environment. Here, the increased HLA-E*0101 and HLA-C mismatches, which were associated with symptoms at birth, may enhance maternal allo-reactivity to fetal Ags, and cause suboptimal viral clearance. Finally, HLA-C non-inherited maternal antigens (NIMAs) were associated with LTI. The tolerance induced in the fetus toward NIMAs may indirectly induce a suboptimal CMV antiviral response throughout childhood. In light of our findings, the potential role of maternal-child HLA in controlling CMV infection and cCMV-related disease, and the clinical value as predictor for long-term outcome certainly deserve further evaluation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2017.01904DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5760553PMC
January 2018

Rhinovirus viremia in adult patients with high viral load in bronchoalveolar lavages.

J Clin Virol 2017 11 12;96:105-109. Epub 2017 Oct 12.

Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Postbox 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

Background: In children, rhinovirus viremia has been associated with higher nasopharyngeal loads and increase in severity of clinical signs and symptoms.

Objectives: This study aims to detect rhinovirus viremia in adult patients and to establish potential correlations with the clinical course.

Study Design: Adult patients with rhinovirus strongly positive bronchoalveolar lavages (BAL, quantitation cycle, Cq values <25) detected between 2008 and 2014 were studied retrospectively. Blood sampled between two weeks before and two weeks after BAL sampling was tested for rhinovirus RNA. Underlying conditions, symptoms, radiography, microbiological data, and disease outcome were analysed.

Results: Twenty-seven of 43 patients with rhinovirus positive BAL at Cq values <25 had blood samples available within the prespecified time-frame (mean blood 3-4 samples per patient). Four of these 27 patients (15%) tested rhinovirus RNA positive in their blood (of whom one patient twice). Genotyping demonstrated rhinovirus A01, A24, B52 and B92 in these four immunocompromised patients. Viremic patients were not significantly different with regard to underlying conditions, respiratory symptoms, radiological findings, co-pathogens nor the number of blood samples tested for RV. However, patients with rhinovirus viremia had significant higher mortality rates compared to patients without viremia, as all four died as a consequence of respiratory problems (100%) versus 22% (5/23), p=0.007 (Fisher's exact).

Conclusions: Rhinovirus viremia can occur in adult patients with a high viral load in BAL fluid. Rhinovirus viremia may be considered a negative prognostic factor, although a causative role with regard to the adverse outcome has yet to be demonstrated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcv.2017.10.007DOI Listing
November 2017

Long-term impairment attributable to congenital cytomegalovirus infection: a retrospective cohort study.

Dev Med Child Neurol 2017 12 9;59(12):1261-1268. Epub 2017 Oct 9.

Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Aim: This study aimed to estimate long-term impairment attributable to congenital cytomegalovirus infection (cCMV).

Method: This nationwide cohort study retrospectively assessed cCMV in children born in 2008 in the Netherlands, testing 31 484 stored neonatal dried blood spots. Extensive medical data of cCMV-positive children (n=133) and matched cCMV-negative comparison children (n=274) up to 6 years of age were analysed.

Results: Moderate to severe long-term impairment was diagnosed in 24.8% (33 out of 133) of all cCMV-positive children (53.8% in symptomatic, 17.8% in asymptomatic), compared with 12.0% (33 out of 274) of cCMV-negative children. Sensorineural hearing loss was seen only in five cCMV-positive children (3.8%). Developmental delays were diagnosed more often in cCMV-positive children than cCMV-negative children: motor (12.0% vs 1.5%), cognitive (6.0% vs 1.1%), and speech-language (16.5% vs 7.3%). Long-term impairment in multiple domains was more frequent in symptomatic (19.2%) and asymptomatic (8.4%) cCMV-positive children than cCMV-negative children (1.8%).

Interpretation: Children with cCMV were twice as likely to have long-term impairment up to the age of 6 years, especially developmental delays and sensorineural hearing loss, than cCMV-negative comparison children, with a risk difference of 12.8%. These insights into the risk of cCMV-associated impairment can help optimize care and stimulate preventive measures.

What This Paper Adds: Congenital cytomegalovirus infection (cCMV) leads to impairment in 25% of cases. Fifty per cent of children with cCMV symptoms at birth have long-term impairment. The risk difference of moderate to severe long-term impairment between children with and without cCMV is 13%, attributable to cCMV. cCMV leads to motor, cognitive, and speech-language developmental delay in children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/dmcn.13556DOI Listing
December 2017

Neonatal screening parameters in infants with congenital Cytomegalovirus infection.

Clin Chim Acta 2017 Oct 25;473:191-197. Epub 2017 Aug 25.

Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Albinusdreef 2, 2333 ZA Leiden, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

Congenital Cytomegalovirus infection (cCMV) is the most common cause of congenital infections worldwide that can cause long-term impairment (LTI). The metabolic alterations due to cCMV are largely unknown. This study aims to assess the metabolites included in the neonatal screening in relation to cCMV and cCMV outcome, allowing the identification of prognostic markers for clinical outcome. Essential amino acids, hormones, carnitines and enzymes from Dried Blood Spots (DBS) were analyzed of 102 children with cCMV and 179 children without cCMV, and they were related to symptoms at birth and LTI at 6years of age. In this cohort, the neonatal screening parameters did not change in relation to cCMV, nor to symptoms at birth or LTI. However, metabolic changes were observed in children born preterm, with lower concentrations of essential amino acids in premature infants with cCMV compared to premature controls. Finally, a higher concentration of palmytoilcarnitine (C16) in the group with higher viral load was observed. Though these data demonstrate limitations in the use of neonatal screening data as predictors for long-term cCMV outcome, the metabolism of preterm neonates with cCMV merits further evaluation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cca.2017.08.029DOI Listing
October 2017

Congenital Cytomegalovirus Infection: Child Development, Quality of Life and Impact on Daily Life.

Pediatr Infect Dis J 2017 Dec;36(12):1141-1147

From the *Centre for Infectious Diseases, Epidemiology and Surveillance, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment, Bilthoven, the Netherlands, †Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands, and ‡Willem-Alexander Children's Hospital, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV) infection is the most common congenital infection worldwide and can lead to long-term impairments such as developmental delay. It is currently unknown how this affects the daily life of children and their parents. Children For this study, children with cCMV were identified by testing stored dried blood spots of 31,484 five-year-old children born in 2008 in the Netherlands. Parents of 133 children with cCMV and 274 children without cCMV participated and filled in questionnaires on the child's development, the child's and parents' quality of life, care provided for the children and consequences of cCMV on daily life. School performance reports at 6 years of age were also investigated. Children with cCMV had delays in general and expressive language development more often, and they attended physical therapists more frequently than children without cCMV. School performance of children with cCMV and symptoms at birth was poorer than that of cCMV-negative children with similar symptoms at birth. The quality of life of children with long-term impairment was lower in children with cCMV than those without cCMV. Parents of children with cCMV and long-term impairments reported more physical and concentration problems than parents of children without cCMV. These findings indicate that cCMV has a considerable impact not only on the child's development and school performance but also on the daily life of children and their parents. The care for children with cCMV should therefore include support for motor and speech-language development as well as family-centered care.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/INF.0000000000001663DOI Listing
December 2017

Stability of BK polyomavirus IgG seroreactivity and its correlation with preceding viremia.

J Clin Virol 2017 05 19;90:46-51. Epub 2017 Mar 19.

Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Background: Recently we showed that the level of BK polyomavirus (BKPyV) IgG seroreactivity in kidney donors predicted viremia and BKPyV-associated nephropathy in kidney transplant recipients (KTRs). This observation could be explained by assuming a direct association between BKPyV seroreactivity and the amount of persistent infectious virus in the renal allograft.

Objectives: Since the renal BKPyV reservoir is probably sowed by viremia during primary BKPyV infection, we systematically analysed the dynamics of BKPyV IgG seroreactivity in relation to preceding BKPyV viremia in KTRs and healthy individuals.

Study Design: A cohort of 85 KTRs consisting of BKPyV viremic and nonviremic subjects was analysed for BKPyV IgG seroreactivity at five fixed time points until one year after transplantation. A cohort of 87 healthy blood donors (HBDs) was used as controls.

Results: Baseline BKPyV seropositivity was high in both KTRs and HBDs, and the baseline mean BKPyV IgG level comparable. BKPyV IgG levels in nonviremic KTRs and HBDs remained stable during follow-up, while a considerable increase was observed in viremic KTRs (p=0.015). The increase of BKPyV seroreactivity in viremic KTRs was associated with the duration and peak level of BKPyV viremia.

Conclusions: BKPyV IgG seroreactivity was stable over time in immunocompetent subjects, which enables the use of this potential pretransplantation biomarker in kidney donors. The observed dose-dependent relationship of BKPyV IgG seroreactivity with preceding BKPyV replication is in agreement with the assumption that BKPyV seroreactivity reflects past BKPyV activity and correlates with the amount of latent BKPyV residing within a kidney allograft.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcv.2017.03.015DOI Listing
May 2017

T and B Cell Markers in Dried Blood Spots of Neonates with Congenital Cytomegalovirus Infection: B Cell Numbers at Birth Are Associated with Long-Term Outcomes.

J Immunol 2017 01 30;198(1):102-109. Epub 2016 Nov 30.

Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, 2333 ZA Leiden, the Netherlands.

Congenital CMV infection (cCMV) is the most common congenital infection that can cause long-term impairment (LTI). The pathogenesis of LTI is not completely understood. Fetal immunity may play a role in controlling the infection and preventing LTI, although immune activation may also contribute to fetal immunopathology. In this study, we analyzed various molecular markers of T and B cell numbers in neonatal dried blood spots of 99 children with cCMV and 54 children without cCMV: δRec-ψJα signal joints on TCR excision circles, intron recombination signal sequence k-deleting element signal joints on Igκ-deleting recombination excision circles, genomic intron recombination signal sequence k-deleting element coding joint, genomic Vδ1-Jδ1, and Vδ2-Jδ1 rearrangements. Of this cohort, clinical symptoms at birth and LTI at 6 y of age were recorded. Neonates with cCMV had fewer TCR excision circles in their blood than non-infected controls. Furthermore, cCMV infection was associated with increased numbers of γδ T cells and B cells, and these numbers were positively correlated with CMV viral load in the dried blood spots. Infected children with a better long-term outcome had higher numbers of B cells at birth than those who developed LTI; no difference in B cell replication was observed. The potential protective role of B cells in controlling cCMV-related disease and the clinical value of this marker as a predictor of long-term outcome merit further evaluation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.1601182DOI Listing
January 2017

Primary Polyomavirus Infection, Not Reactivation, as the Cause of Trichodysplasia Spinulosa in Immunocompromised Patients.

J Infect Dis 2017 Apr;215(7):1080-1084

Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center.

Classic human polyomaviruses (JC and BK viruses) become pathogenic when reactivating from latency. For the rare skin disease trichodysplasia spinulosa, we show that manifestations of the causative polyomavirus (TSPyV) occur during primary infection of the immunosuppressed host. High TSPyV loads in blood and cerebrospinal fluid, sometimes coinciding with cerebral lesions and neuroendocrine symptoms, marked the acute phase of trichodysplasia spinulosa, whereas initiation and maturation of TSPyV seroresponses occurred in the convalescent phase. TSPyV genomes lacked the rearrangements typical for reactivating polyomaviruses. These findings demonstrate the clinical importance of primary infection with this rapidly expanding group of human viruses and explain the rarity of some novel polyomavirus-associated diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiw403DOI Listing
April 2017

Reactivation of Human Herpes Virus-6 After Pediatric Stem Cell Transplantation: Risk Factors, Onset, Clinical Symptoms and Association With Severity of Acute Graft-Versus-Host Disease.

Pediatr Infect Dis J 2015 Oct;34(10):1118-27

From the *Department of Pediatrics, †Department of Medical Microbiology, ‡Department of Medical Statistics and Bioinformatics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands; and §Division of Hematology/Oncology, Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Background And Methods: To study clinical symptoms, timing and consequences of human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) reactivation after pediatric allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT), HHV-6 was investigated by plasma polymerase chain reaction in a cohort of 106 pediatric SCT recipients.

Results: HHV-6 viremia was detected post-SCT in 48% of the patients with a median time of onset at 20 days after SCT. In week 3 and 4 post-SCT, HHV-6 is the most common infectious agent detected. In up to 30% of the patients with fever of unknown origin, HHV-6 was the only detected infectious agent to explain fever. Patients transplanted with an unrelated donor or receiving serotherapy were at increased risk of HHV-6 reactivation. The onset of HHV-6 reactivation coincided with the appearance of lymphocytes and monocytes in peripheral blood. Treatment with alemtuzumab (MabCampath) delayed both lymphocyte and monocyte engraftment and, concomitantly, onset of HHV-6 reactivation was delayed in those cases. HHV-6 reactivation was not associated with an increased incidence of acute graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). However, progression to grade II-IV GvHD was in 9 of 10 patients associated with HHV-6 reactivation before GvHD (P = 0.006) and HHV-6 was the only infection with such an association.

Conclusions: HHV-6 frequently reactivates after pediatric SCT around the time of mononuclear cell engraftment and is associated with an increased severity of GvHD. HHV-6 may explain fever of unknown origin in 30% of the patients early after SCT. Assessment of HHV-6 reactivation in patients early after SCT can be instrumental for clinical decision making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/INF.0000000000000824DOI Listing
October 2015

Clinical evaluation of viral acute respiratory tract infections in children presenting to the emergency department of a tertiary referral hospital in the Netherlands.

BMC Pediatr 2014 Dec 10;14:297. Epub 2014 Dec 10.

Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Background: The relative incidence and clinical impact of individual respiratory viruses remains unclear among children presenting to the hospital emergency department with acute respiratory tract infection (ARTI).

Methods: During two winter periods, respiratory virus real-time multiplex PCR results were evaluated from children (< 18 years) presenting to the emergency department of a tertiary referral hospital with ARTI that had been sampled within 48 hours of hospital presentation. In an attempt to identify virus-specific distinguishing clinical features, single virus infections were correlated with presenting signs and symptoms, clinical findings and outcomes using multivariate logistic regression.

Results: In total, 274 children with ARTI were evaluated and most were aged < 3 years (236/274, 86%). PCR detected respiratory viruses in 224/274 (81.8%) children and included 162 (59%) single and 62 (23%) mixed virus infections. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and human rhinovirus (HRV) single virus infections were common among children aged < 3 years, but proportional differences compared to older children were only significant for RSV (95% CI 1.3-15). Clinical differentiation between viral ARTIs was not possible due to common shared presenting signs and symptoms and the high frequency of mixed viral infections. We observed virus-associated outcome differences among children aged < 3 years. Oxygen treatment was associated with RSV (OR 3.6) and inversely correlated with FLU (OR 0.05). Treatment with steroids (OR 3.4) or bronchodilators (OR 3.4) was associated with HRV. Severe respiratory complications were associated with HRV (OR 3.5) and inversely correlated with RSV (OR 0.24).

Conclusions: Respiratory viruses are frequently detected in young children presenting to the hospital emergency department with ARTI and require PCR diagnosis since presenting signs and symptoms are not discriminant for a type of virus. RSV and HRV bear a high burden of morbidity in the pediatric clinical setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12887-014-0297-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4276012PMC
December 2014

Mass spectrometry-based comparative sequence analysis for the genetic monitoring of influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus.

PLoS One 2014 3;9(4):e92970. Epub 2014 Apr 3.

Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

The pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 virus (pH1N1) contains novel gene segments of zoonotic origin that lack virulence and antiviral resistance markers. We aimed to evaluate the applicability and accuracy of mass spectrometry-based comparative sequence analysis (MSCSA) to detect genetic mutations associated with increased virulence or antiviral resistance in pH1N1. During the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, routine surveillance specimens and clinical antiviral resistance monitoring specimens were analyzed. Routine surveillance specimens obtained from 70 patients with pH1N1 infection were evaluated for mutations associated with increased virulence (PB1-F2, PB2 and NS1 genes) or antiviral resistance (neuraminidase gene, NA) using MSCSA and Sanger sequencing. MSCSA and Sanger sequencing results revealed a high concordance (nucleotides >99%, SNPs ∼ 94%). Virulence or resistance markers were not detected in routine surveillance specimens: all identified SNPs encoded for silent mutations or non-relevant amino acid substitutions. In a second study population, the presence of H275Y oseltamivir resistant virus was identified by real-time PCR in 19 of 35 clinical antiviral resistance monitoring specimens obtained from 4 immunocompromised patients with ≥ 14 days prolonged pH1N1 excretion. MSCSA detected H275Y in 24% (4/19) of positive specimens and Sanger sequencing in 89% (17/19). MSCSA only detected H275Y when the mutation was dominant in the analyzed specimens. In conclusion, MSCSA may be used as a rapid screening tool during molecular surveillance of pH1N1. The low sensitivity for the detection of H275Y mutation in mixed viral populations suggests that MSCSA is not suitable for antiviral resistance monitoring in the clinical setting.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0092970PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3974683PMC
January 2015

The association between foodborne and orofecal pathogens and allergic sensitisation -- EuroPrevall study.

Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2014 May 10;25(3):250-6. Epub 2013 Dec 10.

Department of Parasitology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Background: An inverse association between markers of exposure to foodborne and orofecal pathogens and allergic sensitization has been reported. However, the findings of epidemiological studies have not been consistent. This study investigated the relationship between antibodies to hepatitis A, Toxoplasma gondii and salmonella and allergic sensitization to food and aeroallergens in children from different geographical areas.

Methods: Specific IgE and/or skin prick testing against food and aeroallergens were measured in children from 6 to 12 years of age residing in Greece, the Netherlands, China, India and Russia. Seropositivity to the three pathogens was measured, and data on potential confounders were collected using questionnaire.

Results: Data from 800 children (126 from Athens; 248 from Utrecht; 110 from Hong Kong; 119 from urban Tomsk; and 197 from rural Tomsk) could be analysed. The highest percentage of positive serology to salmonella was found in Hong Kong (46.4%), to T. gondii in urban Tomsk (13.4%) and to hepatitis A in Athens (71.2%). Although not significant, T. gondii seropositivity tends to be negatively associated, and hepatitis A seropositivity tends to be positively associated with allergic sensitization.

Conclusion: Inconsistent associations were observed between allergic sensitization to food and aeroallergens and markers of exposure to two common foodborne pathogens. The association with T. gondii tends to be negative, consistent with the 'hygiene hypothesis', but the association with hepatitis A tends to be positive. Taken together, there is no clear evidence that past exposure to foodborne and orofecal pathogens protects against allergic sensitization to food or aeroallergens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pai.12175DOI Listing
May 2014

The apparent paradox of maternal seropositivity as a risk factor for congenital cytomegalovirus infection: a population-based prediction model.

Rev Med Virol 2013 Jul 5;23(4):241-9. Epub 2013 Apr 5.

Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Because maternal seropositivity for CMV is associated with substantial protection against congenital CMV infection, prevention measures have focused mainly on seronegative pregnant women for decades. However, population-wide insight in the contribution of nonprimary infection (reactivation and/or re-infection with a different strain) on the most common sequela, hearing loss, is missing. A population-based prediction model was developed to estimate the proportion of congenital CMV-related hearing loss resulting from nonprimary maternal infection. Incorporated was a meta-analysis of the risk of hearing loss, calculating pooled proportions of children with hearing loss after nonprimary and primary infection. Subsequently, the model was applied for worldwide present population seroprevalences (range 30-95%). It was estimated that, for all population seroprevalences, nonprimary maternal infections are responsible for the majority of congenital CMV infections. This proportion increased with seroprevalence, ranging from 57% (95%CI 24-85%) to 96% (95% CI 88-99%) for seroprevalences of 30% to 95%. Our meta-analysis (six reports) showed that the risk of hearing loss after nonprimary infection was 11% (28/253 children, 95% CI 7-15%) versus 13% (50/385 children, 95% CI 10-16%) after primary infection. Incorporating this risk into our model, we estimated that nonprimary infections also accounted for the majority of CMV-related hearing loss. This proportion ranged from 53% (95% CI 13-86%) to 95% (95% CI 62-99%) for seroprevalences of 30% to 95%. Our data underline the worldwide contribution of nonprimary infections in causing CMV-related hearing loss. These results imply that prevention research such as vaccine and hygiene studies should not only be directed at seronegative but also seropositive pregnant women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/rmv.1744DOI Listing
July 2013

Cytomegalovirus DNA detection in dried blood spots and perilymphatic fluids from pediatric and adult cochlear implant recipients with prelingual deafness.

J Clin Virol 2013 Feb 9;56(2):113-7. Epub 2012 Nov 9.

Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Background: Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is the leading cause of non-genetic congenital hearing loss. The contribution of congenital CMV to prelingual deafness and the pathophysiology is largely unknown.

Objective: (1) To analyze the prevalence of congenital CMV among cochlear implant (CI) recipients with prelingual deafness. (2) To genotype CMV present in dried blood spots (DBS) and in the inner ear years after birth.

Study Design: Children and adults with prelingual deafness who received a CI in 2010-2011 were included prospectively. Perilymphatic fluids were collected during CI surgery and, in the pediatric cases, DBS were retrieved for CMV DNA detection. Furthermore, a cohort of children with prelingual deafness who received a CI between 2003 and 2008 were included retrospectively. CMV detection in DBS and perilymph was followed by gB and gH genotyping.

Results: Seventysix pediatric CI recipients were included. Seventy DBS were tested for CMV DNA, resulting in a prevalence of congenital CMV of 14% (10/70). Perilymphatic fluid was available from 29 pediatric CI recipients. One perilymph fluid, of a 21-month old girl with congenital CMV, asymptomatic at birth, was CMV DNA positive. The CMV strain in the perilymph was genotypically identical to the strain present in her DBS (gB1/gH2). Perilymph samples from 21 adult CI recipients were CMV DNA negative.

Conclusions: Our study stresses the important contribution of congenital CMV among pediatric CI recipients. Furthermore, our genotyping data support the hypothesis that CMV-related hearing loss is associated with ongoing viral replication in the inner ear up to years after birth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcv.2012.10.008DOI Listing
February 2013

Persistence and antiviral resistance of varicella zoster virus in hematological patients.

Clin Infect Dis 2013 Feb 16;56(3):335-43. Epub 2012 Oct 16.

Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, The Netherlands.

Background: Varicella zoster virus (VZV) infections are a relevant cause of morbidity and mortality in hematological patients and especially in hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) recipients. The present study aimed to investigate the prevalence and clinical significance of viral persistence and antiviral resistance by systematically analyzing all episodes of VZV diagnosed in our laboratory in pediatric and adult hematological patients between 2007 and 2010.

Methods: Patient charts were reviewed to document patient and disease characteristics. VZV loads were determined in all available clinical samples from the day of diagnosis and thereafter. Persistent VZV infection was defined as a VZV infection that lasted at least 7 days. Analysis of resistance was performed in all patients with persistent VZV infection by sequence analysis of viral thymidine kinase and DNA polymerase genes.

Results: In total, 89 episodes occurred in 87 patients, of whom 65 were recipients of an allogeneic HSCT. Follow-up samples were available in 54 episodes. Persistent VZV was demonstrated in 32 of these episodes (59%). Complications occurred in 16 of the persistent episodes (50%) vs 2 of 22 nonpersistent episodes (9%). Mutations possibly associated with resistance were found in 27% of patients with persistent VZV, including patients with treatment-unresponsive dermatomal zoster that progressed to severe retinal or cerebral infection.

Conclusions: In hematological patients, VZV-related complications occur frequently, especially in persistent infections. Antiviral resistance is a relevant factor in persistent infections and needs to be investigated in various affected body sites, especially when clinical suspicion of treatment failure arises.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cid/cis879DOI Listing
February 2013

Rapid susceptibility testing for herpes simplex virus type 1 using real-time PCR.

J Clin Virol 2013 Jan 29;56(1):19-24. Epub 2012 Sep 29.

Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands.

Background: Susceptibility testing of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is traditionally performed by a plaque reduction assay (PRA), but this is labor intensive, time consuming and has a manual read out.

Objectives: The goal of this study was to develop an internally controlled real time PCR-based phenotypical susceptibility test for HSV-1 that is suitable for use in a clinical diagnostic setting.

Study Design: A DNA reduction assay (DRA) was developed and validated on a test panel of 26 well-characterized isolates of varying susceptibility to aciclovir or foscarnet, including low-level resistant isolates. The DRA consisted of pre-culture of a clinical sample for 48 h and subsequent culture in the presence of antivirals for 24 h. Viral DNA concentration in the culture lysates was measured by an internally controlled quantitative real-time HSV-1 PCR and corrected for cell count and lysis by beta-globin PCR. DRA results were compared to results from PRA and sequence analysis.

Results: DRA results were in accordance with PRA results for both aciclovir and foscarnet susceptibility and appeared to have good discriminative value for low-level resistance due to UL30 gene mutations. Although the direct application of DRA in clinical samples appeared not possible, short pre-culture of 48 h was sufficient and ensured results within a clinically relevant time frame of 5 days.

Conclusions: DRA is an accurate, rapid and easy to perform phenotypical susceptibility test for HSV-1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcv.2012.09.004DOI Listing
January 2013

Failure of pre-emptive treatment of cytomegalovirus infections and antiviral resistance in stem cell transplant recipients.

Antivir Ther 2012 ;17(1):45-51

Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands.

Background: Treatment of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infections after stem cell transplantation (SCT) does not always lead to a rapid viral response. The causes of treatment failure may be either viral resistance or immunological failure to control viral replication. This study investigated the response to pre-emptive treatment in CMV infections in order to define risk factors for treatment failure, including the role of antiviral resistance.

Methods: Adult recipients of allogeneic T-cell depleted SCT were studied retrospectively (n=92). CMV infections were treated with (val)ganciclovir according to a CMV DNA-load-based pre-emptive strategy. Treatment failure was defined as a CMV DNA load of 1,000 copies/ml or more after at least 2 weeks of treatment. Resistance was analysed by nucleotide sequence analysis of the UL97 and UL54 genes in the first CMV DNA-positive sample and in samples during treatment failure.

Results: Treatment failure occurred in 26 of the 47 pre-emptively treated patients (55%) and in 39 of 86 (45%) treatment episodes. The risk of treatment failure was increased during first treatment episodes (P=0.01) and during the use of immunosuppressive medication (P=0.02). Antiviral resistance was found in only 1 patient (4%) with treatment failure.

Conclusions: A slow response to pre-emptive antiviral treatment occurred frequently in CMV infections in SCT recipients. Antiviral resistance was observed but played a minor role in treatment failure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3851/IMP1899DOI Listing
February 2013

Real-time PCR versus viral culture on urine as a gold standard in the diagnosis of congenital cytomegalovirus infection.

J Clin Virol 2012 Feb 15;53(2):167-70. Epub 2011 Dec 15.

Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, P.O. Box 9600, 2300 RC Leiden, The Netherlands.

Background: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is the most common cause of congenital infection. Whereas CMV PCR has replaced viral culture and antigen detection in immunocompromised patients because of higher sensitivity, viral culture of neonatal urine is still referred to as the gold standard in the diagnosis of congenital CMV infection.

Objective: To compare real-time CMV PCR with shell vial culture on urine in the diagnosis of congenital CMV, in a multicenter design.

Study Design: A series of neonatal urines (n=340), received for congenital CMV diagnostics and routinely assessed with shell vial CMV culture, was retrospectively tested by real-time CMV PCR.

Results: The proportion of newborns found to be congenitally infected by real-time CMV PCR was 8.2% (28/340, 95%CI 5.6-11.8%), and 7.4% (25/340, 95%CI 4.9-10.8%) by rapid culture. When considering rapid culture as reference, real-time PCR was highly sensitive (100%), whereas sensitivity of rapid culture was 89.3% when considering real-time PCR as reference.

Conclusions: Our results, supported by analytical and clinical data on CMV DNA detection in neonatal urine, suggest enhanced sensitivity of recent PCR techniques when compared to viral culture. There is considerable rationale to favor real-time CMV PCR as a gold standard in the diagnosis of congenital CMV infection. A large-scale study combining both laboratory and clinical data is required to determine the exact time frame for sampling of neonatal urine when using real-time PCR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcv.2011.11.006DOI Listing
February 2012

Rapid genotyping of cytomegalovirus in dried blood spots by multiplex real-time PCR assays targeting the envelope glycoprotein gB and gH genes.

J Clin Microbiol 2012 Feb 23;50(2):232-7. Epub 2011 Nov 23.

Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Genotyping of cytomegalovirus (CMV) is useful to examine potential differences in the pathogenicity of strains and to demonstrate coinfection with multiple strains involved in CMV disease in adults and congenitally infected newborns. Studies on genotyping of CMV in dried blood spots (DBS) are rare and have been hampered by the small amount of dried blood available. In this study, two multiplex real-time PCR assays for rapid gB and gH genotyping of CMV in DBS were developed. Validation of the assays with 39 CMV-positive plasma samples of transplant recipients and 21 urine specimens of congenitally infected newborns was successful in genotyping 100% of the samples, with gB1 and gB3 being the most prevalent genotypes. Multiple gB and gH genotypes were detected in 36% and 33% of the plasma samples, respectively. One urine sample from a newborn with symptomatic congenital CMV was positive for gB1 and gB2. DBS of congenitally infected newborns (n = 41) were tested using 9 μl of dried blood, and genotypes were detected in 81% (gB) and 73% (gH) of the samples, with gB3 being the most prevalent genotype. No clear association of specific genotypes with clinical outcome was observed. In conclusion, the CMV gB and gH PCR assays were found to be rapid, sensitive for detecting mixed infections, and suitable for direct usage on DBS. These assays are efficient tools for genotyping of CMV in DBS of congenitally infected newborns.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JCM.05253-11DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3264199PMC
February 2012

Congenital cytomegalovirus infection in the Netherlands: birth prevalence and risk factors.

J Med Virol 2011 Oct;83(10):1777-82

Department of Medical Microbiology, Leiden University Medical Center, RC Leiden, The Netherlands.

Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is the most common congenital viral infection worldwide. The sequela encountered most frequently is hearing impairment, affecting approximately one out of five infants congenitally infected. Data on the birth prevalence and risk factors of congenital CMV infection in the Netherlands are scarce. The aim of this study was to determine the birth prevalence of congenital CMV in the Netherlands. A sample of 6,500 dried blood spots (DBS) from infants born in the Netherlands was tested anonymously for CMV DNA. The sample was stratified by the number of live births in different regions of the Netherlands of the year 2007. Additionally, on a regional level, risk factors for congenital CMV were analyzed. The birth prevalence of congenital CMV in the Netherlands was 0.54% (35/6,433, 95%CI 0.36-0.72). Congenital CMV infection was significantly higher in regions with more than 15% young children (0-5 years) compared with regions with a lower proportion of young children (OR 5.9, 95%CI 1.4-25.2). Congenital CMV infection was significantly higher in regions with more than 30% immigrants compared with regions with a lower proportion of immigrants (OR 2.2, 95%CI 1.1-4.6). This association was strongest for regions with more than 30% non-Western immigrants (OR 3.3, 95%CI 1.5-7.5). Based on the knowledge of the natural history of congenital CMV infection, approximately 1,000 children are born with congenital CMV infection in the Netherlands annually, of whom eventually approximately 180 children (0.1% of all newborns) will be affected by long term sequelae, with hearing loss being the symptom encountered most frequently.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jmv.22181DOI Listing
October 2011