Helminths in organ transplantation.
Cooper AJR., Dholakia S., Holland CV., Friend PJ.
With transplantation becoming an increasingly routine form of treatment for diverse populations, and with international travel becoming ever more accessible and affordable, the danger of transplantation-mediated helminth infections, exacerbated by coincident immunosuppression, must be considered. In this Review, we attempt to catalogue all clinically-relevant helminthiases that have been reported to coincide with transplantation, whether by transplantation-mediated transmission, reactivation of latent infections in an immunosuppressed context, or possible de-novo infection during the immunosuppressed peritransplant period. Helminthiasis has been reported in cases of kidney, liver, bowel, pancreas, heart, lung, and stem-cell transplant, and blood transfusion. For each helminthiasis, known risk factors, symptoms, and suggested options for screening and treatment are given. We conclude that helminths are a small but important and potentially severe source of disease after transplantation, and, with options for diagnosis and treatment, these pathogens warrant greater consideration during organ implantation. The achievement of immunological tolerance using helminth-derived products is also an exciting future prospect.