Iron Overload and Unique Susceptibility of Liver Transplant Recipients To Disseminated Disease Due To Opportunistic Pathogens

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The propensity of liver transplant recipients to develop more fulminant disease presentation and a higher risk of disseminated disease due to a number of opportunistic infections, including invasive aspergillosis, cryptococcosis, zygomycosis, may be related to iron overload. Abnormalities in iron homeostasis may also be a contributor to severe manifestations due to other pathogens such as cytomegalovirus andStaphylococcus aureusin liver transplant recipients. Iron is essential not only for microbial pathogenesis, but directly impairs pivotal pathogen specific host defenses. Studies to assess iron homeostasis and the mechanisms by which iron overload contributes to the pathogenesis of opportunistic infections in liver transplant recipients are warranted.

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