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Assessing the impact of positive cultures in preservation fluid on renal transplant outcomes: a scoping review.

BACKGROUND: Infection following kidney transplantation is a significant risk factor for adverse outcomes. While the donor may be a source of infection, microbiological assessment of the preservation fluid (PF) can mitigate potential recipient contamination and help curb unnecessary antibiotic use. This scoping review aimed to describe the available literature on the association between culture-positive preservation fluid, its clinically relevant outcomes, and management.

METHODS: Following the Joanna Briggs Institute's scoping review recommendations, a comprehensive search in databases (EMBASE, MEDLINE, and gray literature) was conducted, with data independently extracted by two researchers from selected studies.

RESULTS: We analysed 24 articles involving 12,052 samples, predominantly published post-2000, 91% of which retrospective. The prevalence of culture-positive preservation fluid varied from 0.86 to 77.8%. Coagulase-negative staphylococci emerged as the most frequently isolated pathogen in 14 studies. The presence of ESKAPE pathogens (Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter species), observed in two studies involving 1074 donors, was significantly associated with an increased risk of probable donor-derived infections (p-DDI). Of the reviewed articles, 14 reported on probable donor-derived infections, while 19 addressed the topic of preemptive antibiotic therapy.

CONCLUSIONS: Routine culturing of preservation fluid is crucial for the identification of pathogenic organisms, facilitates targeted treatment and prevents probable donor-derived infections. Furthermore, this approach helps avoid the treatment of low-virulence contaminants, thereby reducing unnecessary antimicrobial use and the risk of antibiotic resistance. In cases where ESKAPE or Candida species are detected, preemptive therapy appears to be an important strategy. Given that the current evidence primarily stems from retrospective studies, there is a pressing need for large-scale, prospective trials to corroborate these recommendations. This scoping review currently represents the most thorough compilation of evidence on how contamination of preservation fluids affects kidney transplant management.

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