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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2008 Apr 4;57(13):333-6.

Transplantation-transmitted tuberculosis--Oklahoma and Texas, 2007.


Approximately 28,000 organ transplants were performed in the United States in 2007. When infections are transmitted from donors, the implications can be serious for multiple recipients. Tuberculosis (TB), a known infectious disease complication associated with organ transplantation, occurs in an estimated 0.35%-6.5% of organ recipients in the United States and Europe posttransplantation. In 2007, the Oklahoma State Department of Health identified Mycobacterium tuberculosis in an organ donor 3 weeks after the donor's death. This report summarizes results of the subsequent investigation, which determined that disseminated TB occurred in two of three transplant recipients from this donor, and one recipient died. Genotypes of the donor and recipient TB isolates were identical, consistent with transmission of TB by organ transplantation. To reduce the risk for TB transmission associated with organ transplantation, organ recovery personnel should consider risk factors for TB when assessing all potential donors. In addition, clinicians should recognize that transplant recipients with TB might have unusual signs or symptoms. When transmission is suspected, investigation of potential donor-transmitted TB requires rapid communication among physicians, transplant centers, organ procurement organizations (OPOs), and public health authorities.

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