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Cytomegalovirus Linked to Faster Progression of Cystic Fibrosis

THURSDAY, April 11, 2019 -- For patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), cytomegalovirus (CMV) is associated with faster disease progression, according to a research letter published online April 7 in the European Respiratory Journal.

Michael D. Parkins, M.D., from the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada, and colleagues performed a single-center retrospective study involving all 71 individuals with CF referred for lung transplantation from a CF center between 1991 and 2017. The authors examined the correlation between CMV serostatus and patient pretransplant outcomes.

The researchers found that CMV immunoglobulin G positivity was correlated with disproportionate progression to end-stage lung disease as defined by death or transplantation (27.2 versus 35.1 years; difference, 7.95); after adjustment for confounding variables, this difference remained significant (difference, 6.96 years).

"The association we found does not necessarily mean that cytomegalovirus directly causes more rapid disease progression -- further studies are needed before such a bold statement could be made," Parkins said in a statement. "However, our findings provide the first indication that this virus may have an impact on progression of cystic fibrosis, potentially leading to earlier transplant referral and even death."

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry; one author disclosed ties to Alberta Innovates.

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Posted: April 2019

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