In a three-week period 7 of 14 transplant recipients were infected with coxsackie Al virus. Diarrhoea and mortality were significantly associated with infection (7 of 7 infected compared with 0 of 7 non-infected, and 6 of 7 infected compared with 1 of 7 non-infected, respectively). Early in the outbreak, the diarrhoea was presumed to be due to acute graft-versus-host disease (AGVHD). However, the distribution of AGVHD among infected and non-infected patients was nearly equal, and at necropsy 3 of 6 infected patients who had had diarrhoea showed no evidence of gastrointestinal involvement with AGVHD. Infection with viral enteric pathogens may be an important factor in the clinical course of transplant recipients.
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