Issues regarding COVID-19 in kidney transplantation in the era of the omicron variant: a commentary by the era descartes working group

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2022 Jun 23;gfac203. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfac203. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

The Omicron variant, which has become the dominant strain of SARS-CoV-2 worldwide, brings new challenges to preventing and controlling infection. Moreover, the widespread implementation of vaccination policies before and after transplantation, and the development of new prophylactic and treatment strategies for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) over the past 12-18 months, has raised several new issues concerning kidney transplant recipients. In this special report, the ERA working group DESCARTES (Developing Education Science and Care for Renal Transplantation in European States), addresses several questions related to everyday clinical practice concerning kidney transplant recipients and to the assessment of deceased and live kidney donors: what is the current risk of severe disease and of breakthrough infection, the optimal management of immunosuppression in kidney transplant recipients with COVID-19, the role of passive immunization and the efficacy of antiviral drugs in ambulatory patients, the management of drug-to-drug interactions, safety criteria for the use of SARS-CoV-2 positive donors, issues related to the use of T cell depleting agents as induction treatment, and current recommendations for shielding practices.

Keywords: COVID-19; Kidney transplantation; SARS-CoV-2; antiviral agents; kidney donation.