Characterization of the organ donor with bacteremia

Transplant Proc. 2007 Sep;39(7):2083-5. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2007.07.050.


Introduction: The presence of bloodstream infection in the donor is a common finding that could be transmitted to the recipient. To safely expand the donor pool, we examined its relevance.

Materials and methods: We described the clinical characteristics of organ donors grafted in our center between 1997 and 2006 who had bacteremia detected in blood cultures obtained during organ procurement.

Results: Among 1353 organ donors, 75 were non-heart-beating donors type II and the others brain-dead donors. Only 186 donors (14%) showed bacteremia during retrieval. This mean age was 49.8 years (range 12 to 86 years, SD 18) including 63% men. Causes of death were cerebrovascular accident in 60%; craneoencephalic trauma, 25%; and other causes, 15%. The average length of the intensive care unit stay was 3 days (interquartile range: 2 to 7 days). Twenty-nine percent of donors presented previous infectious complications (90% from respiratory origin). The most prevalent pathogen isolated in blood cultures was coagulase negative Staphylococci (46,2%), followed by S aureus (15%), Streptococcus group viridans (9.1%), enterobacteria (9%), Enterococcus faecalis (7.5%) and gram-negative bacilli nonfermentative (6.2%). In 3.1%, the bloodstream infections were polymicrobial. The bronchial aspiration cultures were positive in 50% of cases and the urine culture in 8,6%. In 17% of donors the isolated microorganism was coincident between blood and bronchial cultures. Pseudomonas spp and S aureus were more common than the others (P = .004 and P = .058, respectively).

Conclusions: The incidence of bacteremia in our cohort was 14%. The respiratory tract was the most common clinical focus. Pseudomonas spp or S aureus isolated in bronchial cultures are risk factors to develop bacteremia. According to these findings, it is important to start specific antibiotics against those microorganisms in the donor and the recipients.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bacteremia / epidemiology*
  • Bacterial Infections / classification
  • Bacterial Infections / epidemiology
  • Cause of Death
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Selection*
  • Pseudomonas / isolation & purification
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification
  • Tissue Donors*
  • Tissue and Organ Harvesting / methods*