Bacterial biliary tract infections in liver transplant recipients

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The purpose of this study is to provide an overview of bacterial biliary tract infections in liver transplant recipients with a focus on pathogenesis and conservative treatment strategies.

Recent findings

The development of interventional endoscopic and radiologic interventions has improved the outcome of conservative treatments for bile tract strictures and bilomas. However, recent data show an important rise of infections with multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogens in liver transplant recipients.

Summary

Both recurrent cholangitis and infected bilomas are bacterial biliary tract infections in liver transplant recipients responsible for significant morbidity and graft loss, which require a multidisciplinary approach. Risk factors for biliary tract strictures and bilomas formation have recently been identified. With the improved outcome of a conservative management including prolonged and/or recurrent antibiotic treatments, the risk of selecting resistant pathogens is increased. There is an urgent need to develop new strategies to reduce the risk of secondary infections by MDR isolates in liver transplant recipients.

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