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Transpl Infect Dis 2012 Feb;14(1):79-85

Use of a novel virus detection assay to identify coronavirus HKU1 in the lungs of a hematopoietic stem cell transplant recipient with fatal pneumonia.

Uhlenhaut C, Cohen JI, Pavletic S, Illei G, Gea-Banacloche JC, Abu-Asab M, Krogmann T, Gubareva L, McClenahan S, Krause PR


A 38-year-old female patient with systemic lupus erythematosus presented with pulmonary infiltrates and hypoxemia for several months following immunodepleting autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. She was treated for influenza, which was isolated repeatedly from oropharynx and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluids, and later empirically for lupus pneumonitis, but died 6 months after transplant. Autopsy findings failed to show influenza in the lungs or lupus pneumonitis. A novel generic polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assay using degenerate primers identified human coronavirus (CoV) HKU1 RNA in BAL fluid at autopsy. CoV was confirmed by virus-specific PCRs of lung tissue at autopsy. Electron microscopy showed viral particles consistent with CoV HKU1 in lung tissue both at autopsy and from a previous biopsy. Although human CoV HKU1 infection is not usually severe, in highly immunocompromised patients, it can be associated with fatal pneumonia.

Category: Journal Article
PubMed ID: #21749586 DOI: 10.1111/j.1399-3062.2011.00657.x
Includes FDA Authors from Scientific Area(s): Biologics
Entry Created: 2011-10-03 Entry Last Modified: 2012-09-18