Risk of Transmission of H1N1 Influenza by Solid Organ Transplantation in the United Kingdom

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Concern that pandemic H1N1 swine influenza could be transmitted by solid organ transplantation led to the publication of guidance advising screening of donors, restriction of use of organs under certain conditions, and prophylaxis of recipients. We have reviewed the outcomes for cases of solid organ graft recipients from H1N1 influenza-positive donors in the United Kingdom up to May 2010.


The Organ Donation and Transplantation Directorate supplied a list of five known H1N1 influenza-positive donors, one of whom died from active H1N1 infection. Transplanting teams were contacted to gain information on clinical outcomes.


Thirteen organs were grafted from the donors. None of the 13 recipients developed suspected or confirmed H1N1 influenza. There was variable use of antiviral chemoprophylaxis and screening of recipients for H1N1 influenza.


No cases of transplant-related H1N1 influenza transmission were demonstrated in this series. It remains prudent that transplanting teams have a high index of suspicion for H1N1 influenza infection in donors and offer prophylaxis to and undertake active surveillance of recipients.

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