Autologous Human Cytomegalovirus-Specific Cytotoxic T Cells as Rescue Therapy for Ulcerative Enteritis in Primary Immunodeficiency

Rachele Ciccocioppo, Patrizia Comoli, Alessandra Gallia, Sabrina Basso, Fausto Baldanti, Gino Roberto Corazza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Patients affected by primary immunodeficiency usually undergo a wide range of infections, including reactivation of latent ones. Here we report two cases suffering from late-onset combined immunodeficiency in which ulcerative enteritis due to human Cytomegalovirus caused a life-threatening malabsorption syndrome.

Methods: The assessment of the viral load was carried out on both blood and mucosal samples by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction assay. The generation of autologous virus-specific cytotoxic T cell lines was performed according to Good Manufacturing Practice protocol after peripheral blood mononuclear cells were collected through a single leukapheresis.

Results: In both patients, the viral load resulted negligible in peripheral blood, but very high in mucosal specimens (range 1.064 - 1.031.692 copies/105 cells). After two rounds of antiviral therapy proved unsuccessful, the generation of virus-specific cytotoxic T cell lines was carried out despite severe lymphopenia, and their infusion resulted safe and durably effective in healing intestinal ulcerations and resetting the viral load.

Conclusions: Virus-specific cellular therapy was useful in reconstituting specific immunity and treating severe human Cytomegalovirus-related enteritis in patients with primary immunodeficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-685
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Immunology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2014


  • Enteritis
  • human cytomegalovirus
  • immunodeficiency
  • T cell therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Medicine(all)


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