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Trial record 1 of 1 for:    NCT01011712
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The Natural History of Severe Viral Infections and Characterization of Immune Defects in Patients Without Known Immunocompromise

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01011712
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : November 11, 2009
Last Update Posted : March 27, 2023
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) )

Brief Summary:


  • Infections caused by viruses are common causes of illnesses: the common cold, many ear infections, sore throats, chicken pox, and the flu are caused by different viruses. Usually, these illnesses last only few days or, at most, a few weeks. Some virus infections like influenza are cleared from the body, and others such as the chicken pox virus remain in the body in an inactive state. However, some people may become quite ill when they are infected with a particular virus, possibly because part of their immune system does not respond properly to fight the virus.
  • Researchers have discovered some reasons why a person may not be able to clear an infection caused by a virus. Some persons have changes in the genes that involve the immune system that result in the inability to properly control infection with a particular virus. Identifying changes in genes that involve the immune system should help scientists better understand how the immune system works to protect people from infection and may help develop new therapies.


  • To study possible immune defects that may be linked to a particular severe viral infection.
  • To determine if identified immune defects are genetic in origin.


  • Individuals of any age who have or have had a diagnosis of a virus infection that physicians consider to be unusually severe, prolonged, or difficult to treat.
  • Relatives of the participants with a severe viral infection may also participate in the study. We will use their blood and/or skin specimens to try to determine if identified immune defects are hereditary.


  • Prior to the study, the participant's doctor will give researchers the details of the infection, along with medical records for review. Eligible participants will be invited to the NIH Clinical Center for a full evaluation as an outpatient or inpatient.
  • At the Clinical Center, participants will be treated with the best available therapy for the particular viral infection, and researchers will monitor how the infection responds to the treatment.
  • Researchers will take intermittent blood samples and conduct other tests (such as skin biopsies) to evaluate the immune system. - During and after the illness, researchers will conduct follow-up visits to determine the course of infection and response to therapy.

Condition or disease

Detailed Description:

Viral infections in the normal host are usually self-limited as the innate and acquired immune systems mount successful antiviral responses. However, in some instances, apparently immunocompetent persons manifest infections with viruses that would otherwise be observed only in severely immunocompromised hosts. For example, cases of herpes simplex virus (HSV) encephalitis, esophagitis orgastritis, cytomegalovirus (CMV) colitis, adenovirus hepatitis or pneumonitis, recurrent or persistent skin infections caused by HSV or varicella zoster virus (VZV), severe warts caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), recurrent respiratory papillomatosis caused by HPV, severe influenza or respiratory syncytial virus pneumonia, and progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) due to JC polyomavirus have been described in apparently immunocompetent patients. While a variety of case reports have described severe viral infections in immunocompetent hosts, the pathogenesis of the vast majority of these cases is not understood, and therapy can be unsuccessful.

In this protocol, we will evaluate patients without known immunocompromise, who have severe, persistent, or treatment-refractory viral infections caused by herpesviruses, adenoviruses, polyoma viruses, papillomaviruses, or other viral infections. We will investigate whether certain host or virologic factors predispose these individuals to severe disease. We will also determine the usefulness of various microbiologic tests (e.g., cultures, serology, molecular assays) for following the course of infection in these patients. The physicians in the Clinical Center will provide optimal therapy for these patients, as part of standard of care. Identification of virologic or host factors that predispose these patients to severe viral infections may have important implications for elucidating the pathogenesis of infection and for the development of novel therapies.

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Study Type : Observational
Estimated Enrollment : 325 participants
Observational Model: Other
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: The Natural History of Severe Viral Infections and Characterization of Immune Defects
Actual Study Start Date : March 5, 2010

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

MedlinePlus related topics: Viral Infections

patients without known or not fully characterized immunodeficiency, who have severe, persistent, or treatment-refractory viral infections

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. To find immune and/or genetic defects that predispose individuals to severe or unusual viral infections. [ Time Frame: 10 years ]
    Patients under immune and genetic testing.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   2 Years and older   (Child, Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
The study population will be drawn from referrals from the Clinical Center staff, physicians at outside medical facilities, and self-referrals. Patients or relatives who meet the inclusion and/or exclusion criteria, but who are not able to travel to the NIH Clinical Center, may be enrolled in the study and will be evaluated for immune defects using mailed-in blood samples or clinical specimens (i.e. previously obtained biopsy specimens).


Participants must meet all the following inclusion criteria in order to participate in this study:

  1. Children or adults (regardless of age) without a known or fully defined immunodeficiency and with a definitively diagnosed severe viral infection, including but not limited to infection caused by herpesviruses (HSV-1, HSV-2, CMV, EBV, VZV, HHV-6, HHV-7, HHV-8), human papillomavirus (e.g., severe recalcitrant warts), adenovirus, polyomavirus (such as JC virus and BK virus), or influenza virus. Viral infections that would be considered "opportunistic-like", such as herpesvirus esophagitis, herpesvirus encephalitis, CMV colitis, or progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (caused by the JC polyoma virus), will be of particular interest in this protocol.


    Children or adults with a well-documented prior, severe, persistent, or treatment refractory viral infection(s), who have clinically recovered from the viral infection.

  2. Ongoing care by a referring physician.
  3. Willingness to allow storage of blood and tissue samples for future analyses.


Relatives (2 years or above) may be recruited to establish the genetic origin of immune defects that may be identified in the study subjects. We may obtain blood, buccal swabs or a skin biopsy from the relatives.

  1. Males and females will be accepted.
  2. Adult relatives or the guardians of minor relatives must be willing and capable of providing informed consent after review of protocol procedures that are described in the consent form with an appropriate study team member.
  3. Participating relatives agree to have blood stored for future studies of the immune system.


Participants meeting any of the following exclusion criteria at baseline will be excluded from study participation:

  1. Patients with previously diagnosed conditions associated with acquired or iatrogenic immunodeficiency and/or immunosuppresion (e.g., a history of HIV infection, a positive test for HIV, chemotherapy or high dose glucocorticoids). Patients on immunosuppression and/or immunomodulatory therapy for the treatment of conditions that may be attributable to an underlying inborn error of immunity may be included in the study at the discretion of the PI or their designee.
  2. Women who are pregnant.
  3. Any condition or major comorbidity that the study investigators believe will compromise the patient's ability to comply with the requirements of the study.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT01011712

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Contact: Maria Ploussiou (240) 627-3240 maria.ploussiou@nih.gov
Contact: Jessica R Durkee-Shock, M.D. (301) 761-6539 jessica.durkee-shock@nih.gov

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United States, Maryland
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center Recruiting
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
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Principal Investigator: Jessica R Durkee-Shock, M.D. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Additional Information:
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Responsible Party: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT01011712    
Other Study ID Numbers: 100014
First Posted: November 11, 2009    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: March 27, 2023
Last Verified: January 6, 2023
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: Yes
Plan Description: .Individual participant data generated by CLIA certified tests, such as whole exome sequencing results and numbers of immune cells, will be made available to the participant on this protocol.
Supporting Materials: Informed Consent Form (ICF)
Time Frame: Whole exome sequencing results will be available approximately within 6 months to 1 year and if abnormal results are found they will be discussed by a genetics counselor with participants. Results from the Clinical Center Laboratory will be available within one to two weeks and will be discussed by the study team.
Access Criteria: IPD will be shared with the patient or in the case of children the parent who signed the consent as well as the child if they are felt to be mature enough to understand the results. IPD will also be discussed with the study team. If collaborations are initiated the samples will be coded so that the collaborator does not know the names of the patients.

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC) ( National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) ):
Natural History
Respiratory Viruses
Human Papillomavirus
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Virus Diseases