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Transplant Proc. 2009 Dec;41(10):4425-7. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2009.09.081.

False serologic evidence for acute primary toxoplasmosis during liver transplantation for fulminant hepatitis B: a case report.

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Department of Surgery, Service of Transplantation, Hôpitaux Universitaires de Genève, Geneva 1211, Switzerland.


Acute primary Toxoplasma gondii infection is usually considered to be a contraindication for solid organ transplantation. Recent reports of acute T. gondii infection have highlighted the need to include T. gondii serology in the pretransplant screening of solid-organ transplant recipients. However such serology might be misleading. We describe the case of a 25-year-old woman who received a liver transplantation for life-threatening liver failure due to hepatitis B virus infection. The presence of high IgM titers against T. gondii, as detected by membrane immunoassay, immunofluorescence, and mu-capture ELISA tests, together with the absence of IgG antibodies in the immediate pretransplant serology screening suggested acute primary T. gondii infection at the time of transplantation. We initiated a preemptive therapy with intravenous clindamycin and cotrimoxazole. However, negative PCR and IgA capture assays, together with the absence of a sustained IgG response finally excluded the initial diagnosis of primary toxoplasmosis, leading to discontinuation of antitoxoplasmosis therapy. This case illustrates the problem that, in the context of fulminant hepatitis B, serologic markers for acute primary toxoplasmosis can be falsely positive. Confirmation by PCR and IgA antibody determinations is required to confirm this diagnosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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