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Vaccination of haemopoietic stem cell transplant recipients: guidelines of the 2017 European Conference on Infections in Leukaemia (ECIL 7)

Journal article
Authors C. Cordonnier
S. Einarsdottir
S. Cesaro
R. Di Blasi
M. Mikulska
C. Rieger
H. de Lavallade
G. Gallo
T. Lehrnbecher
D. Engelhard
P. Ljungman
group European Conference on Infections in Leukaemia
Published in Lancet. Infectious Diseases
Volume 19
Issue 6
Pages e200-e212
ISSN 1473-3099
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Medicine
Pages e200-e212
Language - English
Subject categories Infectious Medicine


- Infection is a main concern after haemopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) and a major cause of transplant-related mortality. Some of these infections are preventable by vaccination. Most HSCT recipients lose their immunity to various pathogens as soon as the first months after transplant, irrespective of the pre-transplant donor or recipient vaccinations. Vaccination with inactivated vaccines is safe after transplantation and is an effective way to reinstate protection from various pathogens (eg, influenza virus and Streptococcus pneumoniae), especially for pathogens whose risk of infection is increased by the transplant procedure. The response to vaccines in patients with transplants is usually lower than that in healthy individuals of the same age during the first months or years after transplant, but it improves over time to become close to normal 2–3 years after the procedure. However, because immunogenic vaccines have been found to induce a response in a substantial proportion of the patients as early as 3 months after transplant, we recommend to start crucial vaccinations with inactivated vaccines from 3 months after transplant, irrespectively of whether the patient has or has not developed graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) or received immunosuppressants. Patients with GvHD have higher risk of infection and are likely to benefit from vaccination. Another challenge is to provide HSCT recipients the same level of vaccine protection as healthy individuals of the same age in a given country. The use of live attenuated vaccines should be limited to specific situations because of the risk of vaccine-induced disease. © 2019 Elsevier Ltd

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