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For further information, see CMDT Part 32-07: Adenovirus Infections

Key Features

  • At least 57 types, which produce a variety of clinical syndromes

  • Usually self-limited except in immunosuppressed persons

Clinical Findings

  • Common cold

  • Nonstreptococcal exudative pharyngitis

  • Lower respiratory tract infections

  • Epidemic keratoconjunctivitis

  • Hemorrhagic cystitis

  • Acute gastroenteritis

  • Disseminated disease in transplant recipients


  • Can be cultured from appropriate specimens when definitive diagnosis is desired

  • Quantitative real-time rapid-cycle PCR useful in distinguishing disease from colonization, especially in hematopoietic stem cell transplant patients

  • Multiplex nucleic acid amplification assays can test for multiple respiratory viruses simultaneously with increased sensitivity

  • Appears as a multifocal consolidation or ground-glass opacity without airway inflammatory findings on chest CT imaging


  • Disease usually self-limited

  • Immunocompromised patients often treated with ribavirin or cidofovir, with occasional success

    • Cidofovir is attendant with significant renal toxicity and reduction in doses of immunosuppressive agents is often required

  • Brincidofovir, a nucleoside analog

    • Appears to be useful in patients infected after stem cell transplantation

    • Only available through compassionate use policies

  • Epidemic adenoviral conjunctivitis is often difficult to control and requires

    • Meticulous attention to hand hygiene

    • Use of disposable gloves

    • Sterilization of equipment (isopropyl alcohol is insufficient, recommendations of manufacturers are preferred)

    • Cohorting of cases

    • Furloughing of employees

    • A combination of povidone-iodine 1.0% eyedrops and dexamethasone 0.1% eyedrops four times a day can reduce symptoms and expedite recovery

  • Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) is used in immunocompromised persons but data are still limited

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