Mycobacterial tuberculosis infection in transplant recipients, early diagnosis and treatment of resistant tuberculosis

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Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation, Vol. 14, page(s): 613-618


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To provide a better understanding and summarize recent advances in the diagnosis and treatment of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) infection in solid organ transplant (SOT) candidates and recipients.


Despite advances in SOT medicine, MTB causes substantial morbidity and mortality in SOT recipients, with reported prevalence rates of 0.4-6%. The primary source of posttransplant MTB is reactivation of pretransplant latent MTB infection. The short-term mortality rate in SOT recipients with drug-susceptible active MTB is 30%. In immunocompromised persons with extensively drug-resistant MTB, the mortality rate approaches 100%. Clinical presentation is often atypical with more than half of SOT recipients presenting with extrapulmonary or disseminated disease. Pretransplant latent MTB infection screening and treatment is the cornerstone for preventing reactivation and dissemination of active MTB posttransplant. Treatment of active MTB in SOT recipients is problematic, given significant drug toxicity and interaction with immunosuppressive agents.


A high degree of suspicion for latent and active MTB infection in SOT candidates and recipients is warranted to establish a timely diagnosis and initiate life-saving appropriate therapy.

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