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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Transmission of Strongyloides stercoralis through transplantation of solid organs—Pennsylvania, 2012

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MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 2013 April 12, 62 (14): 264-6
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Strongyloides stercoralis is an intestinal nematode endemic in the tropics and subtropics. Immunocompetent hosts typically are asymptomatic, despite chronic Strongyloides infection. In contrast, immunocompromised patients are at risk for hyperinfection syndrome and disseminated disease, with a fatality rate >50%. The infection source for immunocompromised patients, such as solid organ transplant recipients, is not always apparent and might result from reactivation of chronic infection after initiation of immunosuppressive therapy or transmission from the donor. In October 2012, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) notified CDC of a left kidney and pancreas recipient in Pennsylvania diagnosed with strongyloidiasis. This report summarizes the results of the investigation of the source of Strongyloides infection in three of four organ recipients. Testing of pretransplant donor and recipient sera confirmed that infection in the recipients was donor derived. This investigation underscores the importance of prompt communication between organ procurement organizations, transplant centers, and public health authorities to prevent adverse events in recipients when transmission is suspected. Additionally, it emphasizes the utility of stored pretransplant samples for investigation of suspected transplant-transmitted infections and the need to consider the risk for Strongyloides infection in organ donors.

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