Purpose of review
Hematopoietic stem cell as well as solid-organ transplantation
is being carried out with increasing frequency throughout the world. Lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) remain a common life-threatening complication faced by the transplant recipients. The purpose of this review is to provide up-to-date information on pulmonary infections
among the transplant recipients, especially emphasizing the endemicity of microorganisms, epidemiology, work-up of infections, and principles of their management.
A lower respiratory tract infection such as pneumonia is the most frequent of all the infections and is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Factors increasing the risk of pulmonary infections
include surgical techniques, immune status, chemoradiotherapy, alloimmune mechanisms between the host and the graft, and the environment. A high degree of suspicion, computed tomography (CT) scan of the chest, and flexible bronchoscopy are required in most to establish the diagnosis.
Proper management of LRTI in transplant recipients requires a high degree of suspicion, thorough knowledge of the epidemiology and endemicity of the suspected organisms, CT scan of the chest, and expertise at bronchoscopy. Utmost teamwork among transplant physicians, infectious disease specialist, and bronchoscopist is essential.