Prevalence and outcome of systemic fungal infections in renal transplant recipients - A tertiary care experience.


Shekar M, Elumalai R, Elayaperumal I, Yelahanka RP, Anandkumar DG, Bandi VK, Matcha J.
Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl. 2019 Sep-Oct;30(5):1137-1143.


Fungal infections are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in renal transplant recipients. These infections account for 5% of all infections in renal transplant recipients. The symptoms of systemic fungal infections are nonspecific, particularly in their early stages, and this can lead to delay in diagnosis. Retrospective analysis was conducted on all renal transplants that were performed at our center over a 20-year period from 1996-2016. Cases of invasive fungal infections (IFIs) that occurred among renal transplant recipients were identified to describe the epidmeiology of these infections. A total of 67 (9.2%) IFI cases were identified among 725 renal transplant recipients. Of the 67 patients (9.24%) with IFI, 31 (46.2%) cases were seen in deceased donor transplant recipients. Of 67 cases with IFI, 42 (62.7%) had received induction therapy. The incidence of fungal infections according to the induction agent used was, 14.3% with basiliximab, 12.3% each with daclizumab and rabbit antithymocyte globulin, and 6.3% among patients not given any induction. Invasive candidiasis was the most common IFI overall, followed by mucormycosis, invasive aspergillosis, and cryptococcosis. Median time to onset of IFI was 117.9 days. Majority of infections occurred within 180 days after transplantation. Late posttransplant (>180 days after transplantation) IFI's were predominantly caused by Candida, followed by Cryptococcus. The longest time to infection was a case of histoplasma, occurring seven years posttransplant. The overall 12-month cumulative incidence (CI) for any IFI was 9.1%. The 12-month CI of the first IFI increased from 7.3% between 1996 and 2001 to 10.5% between 2010 and 2016. The overall mortality rate was 38.8%. The use of newer and more-effective immunosuppressive agents in recent years are associated with increased rates of fungal infections in renal transplant recipients. Therefore, early detection of fungal infections and proper therapy are important in improving survival and reducing mortality.