Cytomegalovirus (CMV) reactivation in immune compromised patients such as those undergoing hematopoietic progenitor cell transplantation (HPCT) and those with HIV infections can cause severe morbidity and mortality despite treatment with appropriate antiviral agents. The recovery of Cytomegalovirus (CW) specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) plays an important role in the reconstitution of CMV specific immunity in immunocompromised patients. Recent studies have reported that CMV reactivation can be successfully treated by adoptive transfer of CW-specific T cell clones from CMV seropositive donors expanded in vitro with CMV infected fibroblasts or lysates of CMV infected cells. Other studies have used immune dominant CMV proteins or peptides to expand CMV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes. This review describes the clinical manifestations of CMV disease in immunocompromised patients, recent advances of antiviral therapy for CMV disease, the principals of the induction of cellular immune response to CMV, and the clinical application of CMV immunotherapy.
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