, Volume 36, Issue 3, pp 207-212
Date: 09 May 2008

Impact of Bacterial and Fungal Donor Organ Contamination in Lung, Heart–Lung, Heart and Liver Transplantation

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We investigated to which extent bacterial and fungal donor organ contamination (DOC) caused posttransplant nosocomial infections (NI) in solid organ transplant (Tx) recipients. Between January 2002 to December 2003 (lung and heart Tx) and October 2003 to September 2004 (liver Tx), NIs were determined according to modified CDC criteria for NIs for all transplantations performed at Hannover Medical School. Organisms of the same species cultured from donor organs and infected transplantees were genotyped if available. Out of 282 solid organ recipients (140 lung-Tx, 16 heart-lung-Tx, 51 heart-Tx, 75 liver-Tx), 150 recipients (53.2%) received contaminated donor organs. Incidences of NIs were 33.7% in lung, 68.8% in heart-lung, 21.6% in heart, and 28% in liver recipients. In 11 out of 282 transplantees (3.9%, CI 95% 2.0–6.9%) organisms of NIs and of contamination of the donor organ were of the same species. Even if assuming five missing pairs of organisms as genetically identical, incidences of DOC-related posttransplant infections were only between 1.3% (CI95% 0.0; 7.2) in liver-Tx and 18.8% (CI95% 4; 45.6) in heart-lung Tx, and DOC related mortality was 0.4% (CI95% 0.0;1.9). Despite high DOC rates, posttransplant infections due to DOC were rare under the condition of adequate preoperative antibiotic prophylaxis and aseptic organ retrievement.

The results of this study were presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Hospital Epidemiology (SHEA). Chicago, IL, March 2006, 17–21. This study was not funded. None of the authors has any conflicts of interest.