Specific chemokine polymorphism may protect against HHV-6 reactivation and aGVHD in HSCT

A genetic polymorphism of the chemokine CXCL12 was found to be associated with a lower incidence of acute GVHD. Furthermore  patients with this polymorphism or receiving cells with the polymorphism were less prone to early HHV-6 reactivation.

Investigators in Poland studied 360 stem cell transplant patients, demonstrating that those who were positive for the CXCL12-3’A allele or were the recipient of donor cells containing this polymorphism had a more favorable outcome in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Only 2/39 CXCL12-3’A positive patients had early reactivation with HHV-6 vs. 19/69 without it.

The CXCL12-3’A polymorphism has previously been associated with a faster recovery of granulocytes and platelets after transplantation, and has also been described as having a protective effect in patients with multiple myeloma (Mazur 2013).  However, this is the first documentation of its effect on HHV-6 reactivation.

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