Fungal Infections in Solid-Organ Transplantation
Fungal infections following solid-organ transplantation remain a major cause of morbidity and death. Their incidence ranges from 5% among recipients of kidney transplants to as high as 40% among recipients of liver transplants. Species of Candida and Aspergillus account for more than 80% of fungal episodes. Moreover, more than 80% of fungal infections occur within the first 2 months after transplantation, with a resulting mortality of 30%–100%. The pathogenesis of infection and the risk factors involved depend on the type of transplant and the infecting microorganism. Cyclosporine has not significantly reduced the incidence or severity of fungal infections in this population. The value of surveillance cultures and fungal antigen detection in solid-organ transplant recipients remains to be determined. Amphotericin B is still a first-line drug, but its potential nephrotoxicity makes its use problematic, especially in renal transplant recipients. Fluconazole is a potential alternative for the treatment of infections due to Candida species and Cryptococcus neoformans. The role of antifungal compounds in the prophylaxis of fungal infection in recipients of solid-organ transplants needs to be established.