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Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2013 Aug;26(4):309-16. doi: 10.1097/QCO.0b013e3283630e4d.

Donor-derived filamentous fungal infections in solid organ transplant recipients.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15240, USA.



Filamentous fungal infections due to rare opportunistic moulds can be transmitted with an allograft. However, epidemiologic and clinical characteristics of donor-derived filamentous fungal infections (DDFFIs) in transplant recipients are poorly understood. Hence, the aim of this article is to describe donor-related risk factors, clinical presentation, graft and recipient outcomes associated with DDFFIs.


To date, 23 cases of donor-derived opportunistic filamentous fungal infections have been reported; a majority (91%) occurred in kidney transplant recipients. Aspergillus spp. was the most common organism (71%). Risk factors for DDFFIs include immunosuppressive state of the donor (transplant recipients serving as organ donors), near-drowning events, and transplant-tourism practices. DDFFIs manifested as vascular complications related to graft vasculature (65%), allograft dysfunction (43%) and unexplained febrile illness (39%) in the recipient. Rates of graft loss and overall mortality were 83 and 17%, respectively.


Donor-transmitted filamentous mycoses have a unique spectrum of illness and clinical settings under which transmission occurs. Prompt recognition, early surgical intervention and specific antifungal therapy are necessary for achieving optimal graft and recipient outcomes.

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