Diagnosis and treatment of histoplasmosis in solid organ transplant patients

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Purpose of review

Unlike immunocompetent hosts, solid organ transplant (SOT) recipients with posttransplant histoplasmosis (PTH) often present with disseminated disease and have an attributable mortality of approximately 10%. In this review, we discuss currently available diagnostic tests and treatment strategies in PTH.

Recent findings

None of the available tests have a 100% diagnostic accuracy. Histoplasma antigen assays are the most sensitive commercially available tests. However, crossreactivity of histoplasma antigen with aspergillus galactomannan and false positive histoplasma antigen tests because of rabbit antithymocyte globulin may cause difficulty in interpreting positive test results in transplant recipients. Molecular assays such as amplification and sequencing of ‘panfungal’ portions of the 28S ribosomal RNA from clinical specimens appear to be promising.

Recent findings

Lipid formulations of amphotericin B and itraconazole are the drugs of choice in the treatment of PTH. Other extended spectrum azoles also appear to be effective, but, like itraconazole, problems with drug interactions and prolongation of the QTc interval (except for isavuconazole, which shortens the QTc interval) remain. Mycophenolate therapy is associated with severe disease and should be stopped during active disease and, if feasible, calcineurin inhibitors and steroids should be reduced.

Summary

A combination of various tests (culture, antigen tests, nucleic amplification tests, etc.) should be used to optimize diagnostic yield. The role of unbiased next generation sequencing for early diagnosis and newer azoles in the treatment needs to be further explored.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles