Coccidioidomycosis in liver transplant recipients in an endemic area

D. Vucicevic, E. J. Carey, J. E. Blair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Coccidioidomycosis is an infection caused by Coccidioides species, which are endemic for the Southwestern United States and parts of Central America and South America. Most infected individuals are asymptomatic or have mild-to-moderate respiratory illness. Coccidioidomycosis is more severe in patients with depressed cellular immunity, such as organ transplant recipients. We retrospectively reviewed charts of 391 liver transplant recipients (mean follow-up, 38.7 months; range, 2-105 months). Before transplantation, 12 patients had a history of coccidioidomycosis and 13 patients had asymptomatic seropositivity. Of these 25 patients, 23 had no active coccidioidomycosis posttransplantation and 2 had reactivated infection. One of 5 patients with indeterminate serology before transplantation died of disseminated coccidioidomycosis shortly after transplantation. De novo coccidioidomycosis developed in 12 patients (3%) who had no evidence of coccidioidomycosis pretransplantation. Of 15 total episodes of posttransplantation coccidioidomycosis, 10 (66%) occurred during the first year. Dissemination was noted in 33% of active coccidioidomycosis after transplantation; two patients (13%) died of coccidioidomycosis. Because most coccidioidal infections occurred in the first posttransplantation year despite targeted antifungal prophylaxis, we recommend a new strategy of universal antifungal prophylaxis for 6-12 months for liver transplant recipients who reside in the endemic area. Among 391 liver transplant recipients residing in a Coccidioides-endemic area, 15 had active coccidioidomycosis, the majority of which occurred in the first post-transplantation year, with high attendant morbidity and mortality; as such, the authors recommend a revised antifungal strategy of universal prophylaxis for 6-12 months for liver transplant recipients residing in areas of high endemicity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-119
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Coccidioidomycosis
  • fungal infection
  • immunocompromised patient
  • infection
  • liver transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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