Persistent cytomegalovirus infection: Association with profound immunodeficiency and treatment with interferon

Savita G Pahwa, Dahlia Kirkpatrick, Clara Ching, Carlos Lopez, Rajendra Pahwa, Elizabeth Smithwick, Richard O'Reilly, Charles August, Patrick Pasquariello, Robert A. Good

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) was repeatedly isolated from urine and saliva of a 20-month-old male child with recurrent episodes of pneumonia, high fever, rash, lymphadenopathy, oral ulceration, and neutropenia. Immunologic evaluation revealed decreased serum IgG and IgA, increased IgM, depressed T- and B-lymphocyte functions, and decreased natural killer (NK) activity for herpes simplex-type I virus-infected targets. NK activity was augmented following exposure of the patient's lymphocytes to interferon (IF) in vitro. The child was treated with interferon (four courses, dosage varying from 2 million U/day to 1 million U three times/week for periods of 10, 28, 80, and 67 days, respectively, interspersed over 9 months) and hyperimmune plasma infusions every 3 weeks. Toward the end of interferon therapy oral Levamisole was started and a feeding gastrostomy was inserted to provide nutritional support. Clinical recovery was associated with reversal of immunologic abnormalities except for the hypogammaglobulinemia. Aggressive antiviral therapy (e.g., with IF) followed by immunostimulation (e.g., with Levamisole) may prove effective in controlling certain viral infections in immunodeficiency disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-89
Number of pages13
JournalClinical Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1983
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

Cite this

Pahwa, S. G., Kirkpatrick, D., Ching, C., Lopez, C., Pahwa, R., Smithwick, E., O'Reilly, R., August, C., Pasquariello, P., & Good, R. A. (1983). Persistent cytomegalovirus infection: Association with profound immunodeficiency and treatment with interferon. Clinical Immunology and Immunopathology, 28(1), 77-89.