Risk Factors for Early Fungal Disease in Solid Organ Transplant Recipients: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Transplantation. 2024 Apr 1;108(4):970-984. doi: 10.1097/TP.0000000000004871. Epub 2023 Nov 13.


Background: Invasive fungal infections are associated with high morbidity in solid organ transplant recipients. Risk factor modification may help with preventative efforts. The objective of this study was to identify risk factors for the development of fungal infections within the first year following solid organ transplant.

Methods: We searched for eligible articles through February 3, 2023. Studies published after January 1, 2001, that pertained to risk factors for development of invasive fungal infections in solid organ transplant were reviewed for inclusion. Of 3087 articles screened, 58 were included. Meta-analysis was conducted using a random-effects model to evaluate individual risk factors for the primary outcome of any invasive fungal infections and invasive candidiasis or invasive aspergillosis (when possible) within 1 y posttransplant.

Results: We found 3 variables with a high certainty of evidence and strong associations (relative effect estimate ≥ 2) to any early invasive fungal infections across all solid organ transplant groups: reoperation (odds ratio [OR], 2.92; confidence interval [CI], 1.79-4.75), posttransplant renal replacement therapy (OR, 2.91; CI, 1.87-4.51), and cytomegalovirus disease (OR, 2.97; CI, 1.78-4.94). Both posttransplant renal replacement therapy (OR, 3.36; CI, 1.78-6.34) and posttransplant cytomegalovirus disease (OR, 2.81; CI, 1.47-5.36) increased the odds of early posttransplant invasive aspergillosis. No individual variables could be pooled across groups for invasive candidiasis.

Conclusions: Several common risk factors exist for the development of any invasive fungal infections in solid organ transplant recipients. Additional risk factors for invasive candidiasis and aspergillosis may be unique to the pathogen, transplanted organ, or both.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aspergillosis*
  • Candidiasis*
  • Candidiasis, Invasive* / complications
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections* / complications
  • Humans
  • Invasive Fungal Infections* / diagnosis
  • Invasive Fungal Infections* / epidemiology
  • Invasive Fungal Infections* / etiology
  • Organ Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Risk Factors
  • Transplant Recipients

Supplementary concepts

  • Systemic candidiasis