Infection in the renal transplant recipient

Am J Med. 1981 Feb;70(2):405-11. doi: 10.1016/0002-9343(81)90780-4.


The incidence of infection in the renal transplant patient is directly related to the net immunosuppressive effect achieved and the duration of time over which this therapy is administered. A second major factor in the causation of infections in this population is the nosocomial hazards to which these patients are exposed, ranging from invasive instrumentation to environmental contamination with Aspergillus species, Legionella pneumophila, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and other microbial pathogens. Careful surveillance is necessary to identify and eliminate such nosocomial sources of infection. The major types of infection observed can be categorized according to the time period post-transplant in which they occur: postsurgical bacterial infection in the first month after transplantation; opportunistic infection, with cytomegalovirus playing a major role, and transplant pyelonephritis in the period one to four months post-transplant; and a mixture of conventional and opportunistic infections in the last post-transplant period. Conventional infection in this late period occurs primarily in patients with good renal function who are receiving minimal immunosuppressive therapy; opportunistic infection occurs primarily in patients with poor renal function who are receiving higher levels of immunosuppression.

MeSH terms

  • Central Nervous System Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppression Therapy
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Pneumonia / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Sepsis / epidemiology
  • Transplantation, Homologous
  • Urinary Tract Infections / epidemiology