First experience of SARS-CoV-2 infections in solid organ transplant recipients in the Swiss Transplant Cohort Study

Am J Transplant. 2020 Oct;20(10):2876-2882. doi: 10.1111/ajt.16062. Epub 2020 Jun 9.


Immunocompromised patients may be at increased risk for complications of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. However, comprehensive data of SARS-CoV-2 infection in solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients are still lacking. We performed a multicenter nationwide observational study within the Swiss Transplant Cohort Study (STCS) to describe the epidemiology, clinical presentation, treatment and outcomes of the first microbiologically documented SARS-CoV-2 infection among SOT recipients. Overall, 21 patients were included with a median age of 56 years (10 kidney, 5 liver, 1 pancreas, 1 lung, 1 heart and 3 combined transplantations). The most common presenting symptoms were fever (76%), dry cough (57%), nausea (33%), and diarrhea (33%). Ninety-five percent and 24% of patients required hospital and ICU admission, respectively, and 19% were intubated. After a median of 33 days of follow-up, 16 patients were discharged, 3 were still hospitalized and 2 patients died. These data suggest that clinical manifestations of SARS-CoV-2 infection in middle-aged SOT recipients appear to be similar to the general population without an apparent higher rate of complications. These results need to be confirmed in larger cohorts.

Keywords: clinical research/ practice; complication: infectious; infection and infectious agents; infection and infectious agents - viral; infectious disease.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Comorbidity
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology*
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Transplantation / methods*
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • Switzerland / epidemiology
  • Transplant Recipients*