Infected donors in renal transplantation: expanding the donor pool

Transplant Proc. 2013 Apr;45(3):1054-6. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2013.02.014.


Introduction: The shortage of suitable organ donors is now the most important limiting factor in the field of transplantation and more expanded criteria have been accepted to overcome this problem.

Objective: The objectives of this study were to evaluate the outcome of patients who received an organ from an infected donor and to compare them with patients who received organs from noninfected donors.

Methods: Retrospective analysis of all patients who underwent transplantation in our unit between January 2008 and June 2011 was performed. The definition of infected donor included: (1) documented bacteremia at the time of transplantation; and (2) organ-related infection, either with or without isolation from biological products (urine, liquor, and bronchial secretions).

Results: Nineteen of 77 transplant recipients (24.7%) received organs from infected donors. There were 9 cases of pneumonia, 4 cases of meningitis with bacteremia, 5 cases of urinary tract infection, 1 case of bacteremia due to Staphylococcus aureus, and 1 case of ventriculo-peritoneal shunt infection. All these recipients were prescribed antibiotic prophylaxis for 10.9 ± 3.2 days, according to the antibiotic administered to the donor. Significant differences between both groups were not observed concerning demographics features, graft thrombosis, arterial disruption, delayed graft function, rejection episodes, and renal graft and patient survivals at 12 months. The recipients of infected donor kidneys were mostly treated with basiliximab for induction therapy. There was a trend toward fewer infectious complications among patients who received organs from infected donors (21.1% vs 44.8%; P = .065) and shorter hospital stay durations (median, 11 vs 17.5 days; P = .041).

Discussion: Kidney transplantation using organs from infected donors did not seem to be associated with a greater risk of complications. Antibiotic therapy initiated in the donor and continued in the recipient may explain these results, perhaps by reducing infectious complications that necessarily prolong the hospital stay.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibiotic Prophylaxis
  • Bacterial Infections / classification
  • Bacterial Infections / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tissue Donors*