Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

CMV Infections Affect More Than Just Patients With Compromised Immune Systems

Date:
July 27, 2008
Source:
University of Washington
Summary:
An infection due to a virus called cytomegalovirus, which most commonly affects people with compromised immune systems, can also affect hospital intensive-care patients who have no immune-system problems, researchers have found. CMV infection is also associated with longer hospital and intensive-care unit stays independent of other causes, according to the study.

An infection due to a virus called cytomegalovirus (CMV), which most commonly affects people with compromised immune systems, can also affect hospital intensive-care patients who have no immune-system problems, University of Washington researchers have found.

CMV infection is also associated with longer hospital and intensive-care unit (ICU) stays independent of other causes, according to the study, published July 23 in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.

About half of all healthy adults in the United States are exposed to CMV during their life, researchers estimate, and control the infection with their immune system, often without even experiencing symptoms. In some people with reduced immune function, such as organ-transplant recipients, the virus can re-activate in the body and cause serious health problems.

In this study, researchers looked at CMV reactivation in 120 patients with no immune-system problems who were admitted to a hospital ICU. They also analyzed how CMV reactivation affected a patient's long-term health outcomes, including the amount of time the patient had to spend in the hospital or ICU and their risk of death.

The researchers found that CMV reactivation was surprisingly common in ICU patients, with about 30 percent exhibiting an active CMV infection in their bloodstream at various points during the 30-day study period. Even when controlling for other possible variables, CMV reactivation was strongly associated with a longer hospital and ICU stay for patients.

"Other studies have looked at the reactivation rate of CMV, but what makes this study different is that we're looking at people with apparently normal immune systems who were being treated in the ICU for trauma or another medical problem," explained Dr. Ajit Limaye, associate professor of medicine and laboratory medicine at the UW, who led the study. "A substantial number of these patients had CMV reactivate in their bloodstream. What's interesting is that having the virus reactivate was associated with longer ICU and hospital stays, independent of other potential variables."

Longer hospital stays can drive up health-care costs, and can be inconvenient or uncomfortable for patients, Limaye added.

Patients without immune system problems are not typically tested for CMV. However, despite the study findings, Limaye said, it would be premature to start routine testing of ICU patients for reactivation of the virus.

First, the researchers will need to see whether using anti-viral drugs to treat regular-immunity ICU patients can help cut down on reactivation of CMV, or whether it can cut down on the length of hospital stays for those patients with the reactivated virus.

"There are side effects associated with the treatment for CMV, and CMV might simply be a marker, rather than a cause," Limaye explained. "Because of that, we need to test the theory that by treating CMV we can improve the endpoint -- the length of stay in the hospital."

If the planned clinical trial shows that treatment can cut down on CMV reactivation and reduce hospital stays for those patients, Limaye said, it could bring about a new paradigm for improving outcomes for hospital ICU patients. ICUs are typically focused on pulmonary and critical care, he explained, but CMV is an infectious-disease issue.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Washington. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Washington. "CMV Infections Affect More Than Just Patients With Compromised Immune Systems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080724150346.htm>.
University of Washington. (2008, July 27). CMV Infections Affect More Than Just Patients With Compromised Immune Systems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080724150346.htm
University of Washington. "CMV Infections Affect More Than Just Patients With Compromised Immune Systems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080724150346.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins