Toxoplasmosis in the non-orthotopic heart transplant recipient population, how common is it? Any indication for prophylaxis?

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Purpose of reviewUnlike in orthotopic heart transplant (OHT) setting where toxoplasma prophylaxis is a standard practice in pretransplant toxoplasma seronegative recipients who have received donor hearts from seropositive donors (D+/R-), there is no consensus regarding prophylaxis in non-OHT recipients.Recent findingsThe incidence of toxoplasma disease in non-OHT recipients is less than 1% but its true burden is underestimated. Among 31 cases of toxoplasma disease reported from 2004 through 2017, renal and liver transplant recipients comprised of 90% of cases. A total of 94% of 18 recipients with known pretransplant serology were seronegative recipients (mostly D+/R-). Out of 16 recipients with adequate information, 10 (63%) and five (31%) were deemed to be donor derived and nondonor-derived primary toxoplasmosis respectively. Tissue invasive reactivation was uncommon. Almost all cases were described in patients not on prophylaxis at the time of presentation. Universal screening of donor/recipient toxoplasma serology for risk stratification is beneficial as illustrated by reports of fatal cases of toxoplasmosis due to unavailability of positive donor serology results.SummaryToxoplasma disease in non-OHT predominantly occurs in pretransplant seronegative recipients- mostly in D+/R- group and is rare in seropositive recipients. Posttransplant prophylaxis should be targeted against the high-risk D+/R- group and should be considered in seropositive recipients in whom unusually high immunosuppression is implemented. Toxoplasma serologies and PCR should be used in combination for the diagnosis of toxoplasmosis in non-OHT patients.

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