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Travel and transplantation: travel-related diseases in transplant recipients

Kotton, Camille N.a,b,c

Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation: December 2012 - Volume 17 - Issue 6 - p 594–600
doi: 10.1097/MOT.0b013e328359266b
INFECTION: Edited by Manuel A. Pascual

Purpose of review Travel-related diseases may be seen in transplant recipients after travel, after transplant tourism, and via transmission from blood and organ donors, augmented by recent increases in travel, migration, and globalization. Such infections include tuberculosis, Plasmodium (malaria), Babesia, Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas disease), Strongyloides, Coccidioides, Histoplasma, Leishmania, Brucella, HTLV, dengue, among numerous others.

Recent findings Review of cohorts of transplant recipients show that they tend to have minimal or suboptimal preparation prior to travel, with limited pretravel vaccination, medications, and education, which poses a greatly increased risk of travel-related infections and complications. The epidemiology of such travel-related infections in transplant recipients, along with methods for prevention, including vaccines, chemoprophylaxis, and education may help SOT recipients avoid travel-related infections, and are discussed in this review.

Summary Optimizing the understanding of the risk of tropical, geographically restricted, and other unusual or unexpected, travel-related infections will enhance the safety of vulnerable transplant recipients from potentially life-threatening infections.

aTransplant Infectious Disease and Compromised Host Program

bDivision of Infectious Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, Travelers’ Advice and Immunization Center

cDepartment of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Correspondence to Camille N. Kotton, Infectious Diseases Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, Cox 5, Boston, MA 02114, USA. Tel: +1 617 724 0082/617 726 2241 page operator; fax: +1 617 726 7653; e-mail:

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.