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Am J Transplant. 2011 Apr;11(4):848-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2011.03436.x. Epub 2011 Mar 22.

Organ donor screening practices for Trypanosoma cruzi infection among US Organ Procurement Organizations.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.


Donor-derived Trypanosoma cruzi infection in solid organ transplant recipients is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Little is known about T. cruzi screening practices among U.S. organ procurement organizations (OPOs). We distributed a questionnaire to all U.S. OPO directors, requesting data on T. cruzi screening strategies, laboratory methods, number of donors screened, disposition of organs from positive donors and attitudes toward screening. Fifty-eight (100%) U.S. OPOs responded to the survey. Donor screening began in 2002 and is presently performed by 11 (19%) OPOs. Among screening OPOs, four screen all donors and seven use a risk-based strategy. Three different T. cruzi serology tests are used for donor screening. During 2008, 9/993 (0.9%) donors screened positive by a T. cruzi screening test, 6/9 (66%) had confirmatory tests performed and 4/6 (66%) had positive confirmatory tests. These results led to the nonuse of five donors and 17 organs. Five organs from three seropositive donors were transplanted in 2008 without recognized disease transmission. Variability of T. cruzi donor screening strategies, laboratory methods and disposition of organs from positive donors currently exists. Further research is needed to identify the risk of donor-derived T. cruzi infections to help inform the best screening strategy.

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