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      Prevention of toxoplasmosis in transplant patients

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      Clinical Microbiology and Infection

      Wiley

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          Abstract

          Toxoplasmosis is a life-threatening opportunistic infection that affects haematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) and solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients. Its incidence in these patients is closely related to the prevalence of toxoplasmosis in the general population, which is high in Europe. In SOT recipients, toxoplasmosis results mainly from transmission of the parasite with the transplanted organ from a Toxoplasma-seropositive donor to a Toxoplasma-seronegative recipient. This risk is high in cases of transplantation of organs that are recognized sites of encystation of the parasite, e.g. the heart, and is markedly lower in other SOT recipients. Clinical symptoms usually occur within the first 3 months after transplantation, sometimes as early as 2 weeks post transplant, and involve febrile myocarditis, encephalitis or pneumonitis. In HSCT recipients, the major risk of toxoplasmosis results from the reactivation of a pre-transplant latent infection in seropositive recipients. The median point of disease onset is estimated at 2 months post transplant, with <10% of cases occurring before 30 days and 15-20% later than day 100. Toxoplasmosis usually manifests as encephalitis or pneumonitis, and frequently disseminates with multiple organ involvement. Diagnosis of toxoplasmosis is based on the demonstration of parasites or parasitic DNA in blood, bone marrow, cerebrospinal fluid, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid or biopsy specimens, and serological tests do not often contribute to the diagnosis. For prevention of toxoplasmosis, serological screening of donors and recipients before transplantation allows the identification of patients at higher risk of toxoplasmosis, i.e. seropositive HSCT recipients and mismatched (seropositive donor/seronegative recipients) SOT recipients. Preventing toxoplasmosis disease in those patients presently relies on prophylaxis via prescription of co-trimoxazole.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Clinical Microbiology and Infection
          Clinical Microbiology and Infection
          Wiley
          1198743X
          December 2008
          December 2008
          : 14
          : 12
          : 1089-1101
          Article
          10.1111/j.1469-0691.2008.02091.x
          19018809
          © 2008

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