Peer Reviewed Report Available Online Only
Infectious Disease Transmission during Organ and Tissue Transplantation
M. A. Greenwald et al.
Transplantation of organs and tissues (bone, tendon, skin, cornea) will always be associated with some risk for transmission of infectious diseases from donor to recipient. Understanding and minimizing this risk is difficult for many reasons: donor screening processes vary, screening for every infectious organism is not possible, and assessment of recipient health after transplantation to determine possibility of disease transmission is often not adequate. In May 2010, the US Food and Drug Administration held a meeting to address these challenges and establish a research agenda for minimizing these transplant transmission risks. Attendees agreed that the focus should be on standardizing donor screening, compiling disease transmissibility data, monitoring of transplant recipients’ health, and assessing effectiveness of measures to minimize disease transmission. Collaboration and sharing of perspectives, experiences, and resources of all stakeholders in the transplantation process (government, private industry, and health care providers) can improve the safety of organ and tissue transplantation.
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Infectious disease transmission through organ and tissue transplantation has been associated with severe complications in recipients. Determination of donor-derived infectious risk associated with organ and tissue transplantation is challenging and limited by availability and performance characteristics of current donor epidemiologic screening (e.g., questionnaire) and laboratory testing tools. Common methods and standards for evaluating potential donors of organs and tissues are needed to facilitate effective data collection for assessing the risk for infectious disease transmission. Research programs can use advanced microbiological technologies to define infectious risks posed by pathogens that are known to be transplant transmissible and provide insights into transmission potential of emerging infectious diseases for which transmission characteristics are unknown. Key research needs are explored. Stakeholder collaboration for surveillance and research infrastructure is required to enhance transplant safety.