Investigating, Tracking and Reporting Infections

A number of unexpected infections in transplant recipients―suspected or confirmed to be donor-derived―may be of special public health interest. These include HIVhepatitis A, B and CtuberculosisStrongyloides, and Chagas, among others [PDF – 1 page].

Unexpected donor-derived infections could also include emerging pathogens like West Nile Virus or Lymphocytic Choromeningitis Virus.

When a donor-derived disease transmission is suspected or confirmed in a transplant recipient, it is important that other recipients of organs and tissues from the same donor be quickly identified. The chance of patient survival and prevention of organ or tissue graft loss is improved the earlier that an infection is identified and treated. Additionally, the ability to easily trace unused tissue to storage locations for immediate quarantine can prevent further transplantation of potentially infected tissue.

Multiple state/local health departments may be involved in a single investigation as the location of the donor hospital and healthcare facilities where donor organs or tissues were transplanted frequently encompasses multiple states. Findings from investigations help inform regulatory decisions and guidance on reducing the risk of infectious transmissions through organ and tissue transplantation.