Transmission of viral disease to the recipient through the donor liver

Hugo Bonatti, Robert Sawyer, Rolland C. Dickson, Raymond Razonable, Timothy Schmitt, Julio Mendez, Nina Singh, Timothy Pruett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Morbidity and mortality after liver transplantation continue to be significantly influenced by infectious complications. A particular concern is transmission of pathogens through the graft, which may cause significant disease in the recipient. RECENT FINDINGS: For frequently transmitted herpes viruses with high seroprevalence such as cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus and human herpes viruses 6 and 7, significance, diagnosis, spectrum of disease in the recipient, prophylaxis and therapy are well established. Less is known about rare viruses such as West Nile virus, rabies virus, human choriomeningitis virus, human herpes virus 8 and human T-cell lymphoma 1, which are in many cases fatal. A plenitude of other viruses that potentially can be transmitted with a donor liver may exist, for which no detailed information is currently available. Grafts from anti-hepatitis B virus core antibody positive donors can be safely used when using lamivudine/hepatitis B immunoglobulin prophylaxis; hepatitis C virus positive organs should be given to hepatitis C virus positive individuals only. SUMMARY: With the utilization of increasingly extended criteria donors, the risk for transmission of viruses with the graft may become a more common complication. These viruses will include rare and new pathogens and testing donors for these viruses may become necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-241
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent opinion in organ transplantation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2007


  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Extended criteria donor
  • Liver transplant
  • Prophylaxis
  • Viral disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation


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