Transmission of Infection With Human Allografts: Essential Considerations in Donor Screening


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Abstract

Transmission of infection via transplantation of allografts including solid organs, eyes, and tissues are uncommon but potentially life-threatening events. Donor-derived infections have been documented following organ, tissue, and ocular transplants. Each year, more than 70 000 organs, 100 000 corneas, and 2 million human tissue allografts are implanted worldwide. Single donors may provide allografts for >100 organ and tissue recipients; each allograft carries some, largely unquantifiable, risk of disease transmission. Protocols for screening of organ or tissue donors for infectious risk are nonuniform, varying with the type of allograft, national standards, and availability of screening assays. In the absence of routine, active surveillance, coupled with the common failure to recognize or report transmission events, few data are available on the incidence of allograft-associated disease transmission. Research is needed to define the optimal screening assays and the transmissibility of infection with allografts. Approaches are reviewed that may contribute to safety in allograft transplantation.

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