Donor infection and transmission to the recipient of a solid allograft

Am J Transplant. 2008 Nov;8(11):2420-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2008.02397.x.


Transmission of infection from donor to recipient is a potential complication of transplantation. More data on this issue are needed to expand the insufficient donor pool. This study evaluates the incidence of donor nonviral infection, transmission from infected donors and the effect of donor infection on 30-day recipient survival. Data from 211 infected donors contributing to 292 (8.8%) of 3322 consecutive transplant procedures within RESITRA (Spanish Research Network for the Study of Infection in Transplantation) were prospectively compiled and analyzed. Lung was the most likely transplanted organ carried out with an infected donor and Staphylococcus aureus was the most commonly isolated microorganism. In more than a half of donors, the lung was the site of infection. Donor-to-host transmission was documented in 5 patients out of 292 (1.71%), 2 of whom died of the acquired infection (40%). Nonetheless, there was no difference in 30-day patient survival when comparing transplant procedures performed with organs from infected or uninfected donors. In conclusion, donor infection is not an infrequent event, but transmission to the recipient is quite low. Hence, with careful microbiological surveillance and treatment, the number of organs available for transplantation may be increased.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infections / transmission
  • Lung Diseases / microbiology*
  • Lung Transplantation / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Staphylococcal Infections / transmission*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / metabolism
  • Transplantation, Homologous
  • Treatment Outcome