Epidemiology of Fungal Infections in Solid Organ Transplant Patients

Transpl Infect Dis. 1999 Dec;1(4):229-36. doi: 10.1034/j.1399-3062.1999.010402.x.


The epidemiology of fungal infection in solid organ transplant patients is of concern due to the high mortality associated with this complication. Rates of fungal infections vary by type of transplant recipient. Most of these infections occur two to six months after transplantation. Liver transplant recipients are more likely to have early fungal infection which is often due to Candida species. Exogenous and endogenous Candida infection may occur in the immunosuppressed patient in the intensive care unit. Patients with chronic rejection are more likely to have late infection (after six months) which may be due to Aspergillus or endemic fungi such as Cryptococcus. Lung and heart-lung transplant recipients are more predisposed to infection with Aspergillus and other filamentous fungi, due to exposure of the transplanted organ to the external environment. Preventative measures such as environmental controls and chemoprophylaxis may be beneficial in high-risk patients. Emerging fungal pathogens such as the dematiaceous fungi may cause skin or soft tissue infection, or more serious systemic infections. Fungal infection should be ruled out in the solid organ transplant patient with early brain abscess. Characteristic risk factors in high-risk types of solid organ transplant recipients should be recognized for early diagnosis and treatment of these infections associated with high morbidity and mortality.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Aspergillosis / epidemiology
  • Aspergillosis / prevention & control
  • Candidiasis / epidemiology
  • Candidiasis / prevention & control
  • Graft Rejection / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Mycoses / epidemiology*
  • Mycoses / prevention & control
  • Organ Transplantation*
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / microbiology


  • Antifungal Agents