Fluoroquinolones for the treatment of latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection in liver transplantation

World J Gastroenterol. 2019 Jul 14;25(26):3291-3298. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v25.i26.3291.


Solid organ transplantation (SOT) is the best treatment option for end-stage organ disease. Newer immunosuppressive agents have reduced the incidence of graft rejection but have increased the risk of infection, particularly due to the reactivation of latent infections due to opportunistic agents such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Active tuberculosis (TB) after SOT is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Most cases of posttransplant TB are secondary to reactivation of latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) due to the effects of long-term immunosuppressive therapy. Risk minimization strategies have been developed to diagnose LTBI and initiate treatment prior to transplantation. Isoniazid with vitamin B6 supplementation is the treatment of choice. However, liver transplantation (LT) candidates and recipients have an increased risk of isoniazid-induced liver toxicity, leading to lower treatment completion rates than in other SOT populations. Fluoroquinolones (FQs) exhibit good in vitro antimycobacterial activity and a lower risk of drug-induced liver injury than isoniazid. In the present review, we highlight the disease burden posed by posttransplant TB and summarize the emerging clinical evidence supporting the use of FQs for the treatment of LTBI in LT recipients and candidates.

Keywords: Drug-induced liver graft injury; Fluoroquinolones; Latent tuberculosis infection; Liver transplantation; Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Allografts
  • Antitubercular Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antitubercular Agents / adverse effects
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / etiology
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / prevention & control
  • End Stage Liver Disease / surgery
  • Fluoroquinolones / administration & dosage*
  • Graft Rejection / epidemiology
  • Graft Rejection / immunology
  • Graft Rejection / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Incidence
  • Isoniazid / adverse effects
  • Latent Tuberculosis / drug therapy*
  • Latent Tuberculosis / immunology
  • Latent Tuberculosis / microbiology
  • Liver
  • Liver Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / isolation & purification
  • Postoperative Complications / drug therapy*
  • Postoperative Complications / immunology
  • Postoperative Complications / microbiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antitubercular Agents
  • Fluoroquinolones
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Isoniazid