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Indian J Nephrol. 2010 Oct;20(4):171-8. doi: 10.4103/0971-4065.73431.

Post-transplant infections: An ounce of prevention.

Author information

1
Department of Nephrology, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India.

Abstract

Infections are the leading cause of hospitalization in transplant recipients. The increased risk of new onset diabetes after transplantation, cardiovascular disease, post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders adversely affects allograft outcomes. Risk is determined by epidemiologic exposure, immunosuppressive therapy and prophylaxis. The predictable sequence of appearance of infections helps in making management decisions. High likelihood of infections with unusual and multiple organisms necessitates aggressive use of imaging techniques and invasive procedures. Serologic tests depend upon antibody response and are unreliable. Nucleic acid based assays are sensitive, rapid, and allow detection of subclinical infection and assessment of response to therapy. Preventive steps include screening of donors and recipients and vaccination. All indicated vaccines should be administered before transplantation. Inactivated vaccines can be administered after transplantation but produce weak and transient antibody response. Boosters may be required once antibody titers wane. Post-transplant chemoprophylaxis includes cotrimoxazole for preventing urinary tract infections, pneumocystis and Nocardia infections; ganciclovir, valganciclovir, or acyclovir for cytomegalovirus related complications in at-risk recipients; and lamivudine for prevention of progressive liver disease in HBsAg positive recipients. Viral load monitoring and pre-emptive treatment is used for BK virus infection. Infection with new organisms has recently been reported, mostly due to inadvertent transmission via the donor organ.

KEYWORDS:

Infections; kidney transplantation; prevention

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