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Donor-derived infections, lessons learnt from the past, and what is the future going to bring us

Grossi, Paolo Antonio

Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation: August 2018 - Volume 23 - Issue 4 - p 417–422
doi: 10.1097/MOT.0000000000000551

Purpose of review Donor-derived transmission of infectious diseases is a well-recognized complication of solid organ transplantation (SOT). Most donor-derived disease transmissions are expected. Although uncommon, unexpected donor-derived infections can be associated with significant morbidity and mortality, and as the volume of patients undergoing SOT increases, the number of infections transmitted through organ donation can also be expected to rise. The growing gap between the number of patients waiting for transplantation and available organs continue in fact to be the number one issue facing the transplant community. As a consequence the major focus in organ transplantation has been developing strategies to increase the available organs, including the use of organs from donors with infections or risky behaviors that have disqualified them from the donation in the past.

Recent findings In addition to the commonly reported donor-derived transmissions, an increasing number of studies have reported unusual infections transmitted by SOT.

Summary Transplant surgeons and physicians should increase their awareness toward uncommon donor-derived infections including them in the differential diagnosis of unusual clinical pictures in their recipients.

Infectious Diseases Section, Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Insubria, Varese; National Center for Transplantation, Rome, Italy

Correspondence to Paolo Antonio Grossi, MD, PhD, Infectious and Tropical Diseases University of Insubria-ASST-Sette Laghi, Viale Borri, 57, 21100, Varese, Italy. Tel: +39 0332 393075; fax: +39 0332 393080; e-mail:

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