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Clin Microbiol Rev. 1997 January; 10(1): 86–124.
PMCID: PMC172945

Infections in solid-organ transplant recipients.


Solid-organ transplantation is a therapeutic option for many human diseases. Infections are a major complication of solid-organ transplantation. All candidates should undergo a thorough infectious-disease screening prior to transplantation. There are three time frames, influenced by surgical factors, the level of immunosuppression, and environmental exposures, during which infections of specific types most frequently occur posttransplantation. Most infections during the first month are related to surgical complications. Opportunistic infections typically occur from the second to the sixth month. During the late posttransplant period (beyond 6 months), transplantation recipients suffer from the same infections seen in the general community. Opportunistic bacterial infections seen in transplant recipients include those caused by Legionella spp., Nocardia spp., Salmonella spp., and Listeria monocytogenes. Cytomegalovirus is the most common cause of viral infections. Herpes simplex virus, varicella-zoster virus, Epstein-Barr virus and others are also significant pathogens. Fungal infections, caused by both yeasts and mycelial fungi, are associated with the highest mortality rates. Mycobacterial, pneumocystis, and parasitic diseases may also occur.

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