West Nile virus-associated encephalitis in recipients of renal and pancreas transplants: case series and literature review

Clin Infect Dis. 2004 May 1;38(9):1257-60. doi: 10.1086/383325. Epub 2004 Apr 14.


Although West Nile fever is mild in the vast majority of infected persons, there is growing evidence that the disease may be more severe in the immunocompromised population. We describe 3 recipients of kidney or pancreas transplants who developed West Nile fever, 2 of whom had meningoencephalitis. As is the norm when treating serious infections in transplant recipients, a reduction of immunosuppression was pursued for these patients. Despite the severe nature of the disease in 2 patients, all recovered from the disease. The time course of neurologic recovery in the 2 patients with meningoencephalitis is highlighted. We also review the literature on West Nile fever in organ transplant recipients. In areas where West Nile virus is endemic, one must have a high index of suspicion for the illness when dealing with fever in transplant recipients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child, Preschool
  • Encephalitis / etiology*
  • Encephalitis / virology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Immunosuppression Therapy
  • Kidney Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Opportunistic Infections / etiology
  • Opportunistic Infections / virology
  • Pancreas Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Transplantation
  • West Nile Fever / etiology*
  • West Nile Fever / virology
  • West Nile virus*