Letermovir (LTV), recently approved for the prophylaxis of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) reactivation after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT), has been shown to decrease the rate of infection in the first months post-transplantation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of LTV prophylaxis on immune reconstitution and late-onset infection. We studied HCMV infection and HCMV-specific T cell reconstitution in 2 matched groups of HSCT recipients, those treated with LTV prophylaxis (n = 30; LTV group) and those receiving preemptive therapy (n = 31; PET group). We analyzed the rates of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), neutropenia, baseline disease recurrence, and overall survival in the 2 groups. Clinically significant infections necessitating preemptive therapy showed a similar rate in the 2 groups (PET: 21 of 31 [68%]; LTV: 17 of 30 [57%]; P = .434) but occurred significantly later (after prophylaxis discontinuation) in the LTV group. There was no between-group difference in peak HCMV DNAemia level (P = .232). HCMV-specific T cell recovery was delayed by approximately 100 days in the LTV group. HCMV-specific CD4 and CDS T cell counts were significantly lower in the LTV group at days 120 to 360 and days 90 to 120, respectively. A lower rate of chronic GVHD (P = .024) was seen in the LTV group. Time to engraftment, rate of disease relapse, and 1-year survival were not different between the 2 groups, whereas trends toward a lower rate of neutropenia (P = .124) and a higher rate of acute GVHD grade (P = .103) were observed in the LTV group. Because LTV prophylaxis delays HCMV infection and HCMV-specific immune reconstitution, immunologic and virologic monitoring should be implemented after discontinuation of prophylaxis. The potential effect of LTV prophylaxis in reducing chronic GVHD should be evaluated in prospective studies. (C) 2022 The American Society for Transplantation and Cellular Therapy. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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