Incidence and diagnosis of active toxoplasma infection among liver transplant recipients in Western Turkey.

TitleIncidence and diagnosis of active toxoplasma infection among liver transplant recipients in Western Turkey.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsCaner A, Döşkaya M, Karasu Z, Değirmenci A, Guy E, Kiliç M, Zeytunlu M, Francis J, Bozoklar A, Gürüz Y
JournalLiver Transpl
Pagination1526 - 32
Date PublishedOct
Accession Number18825713
KeywordsAnimals, Antibodies, Protozoan, Cohort Studies, DNA, Protozoan, Humans, Immunosuppression, Incidence, Liver Transplantation, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Postoperative Complications, Toxoplasma, Toxoplasmosis, Turkey

Toxoplasmosis is a serious and potentially life-threatening disease in liver transplant recipients while they are immunosuppressed. We report the clinical and laboratory findings related to active toxoplasma infection associated with 40 immunosuppressed liver transplant procedures that took place over a 12-month period at a major transplant unit in Izmir, Turkey. Twenty-seven (67.5%) of the 40 transplant recipients were found to be seropositive for toxoplasma infection and therefore at risk of reactivated infection. From the serological status of the donors, which was ascertained in 38 of 40 cases, we identified 3 (7.9%) of 38 transplants to be from a seropositive donor to a seronegative recipient. In 10 (26.3%) of 38 transplants, both the donor and recipient were seronegative, and this excluded toxoplasma as a risk. A comparison of real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and nested PCR was undertaken in combination with a range of serological assays (the Sabin-Feldman dye test, enzyme immunoassay immunoglobulin M, and immunosorbent agglutination assay immunoglobulin M). Ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid blood samples from 3 of the 30 recipients at risk from toxoplasma were found positive by PCR, but only 1 of these was found positive in both assays. Among the 3 PCR-positive patients, immunoglobulin M and immunoglobulin G antibody levels increased in only 1 patient. Correlations between symptoms, laboratory findings, and clinical management (use of anti-toxoplasma therapy) are presented. Our findings suggest that toxoplasma presents a significant risk to our liver transplant population and that PCR is a helpful addition in identifying active infections and hence in informing clinical management decisions.

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