LIVING WITH IT WORKING WITH IT TREATING IT
As an organ transplant patient, you have new opportunities for a healthy and full life. You may also have some new health challenges. One of those challenges is avoiding infections. While anti-rejection medication helps your accept the new organ by lowering your body’s immune system response, it can also put you at greater risk for fungal infections.
Fungal infections can range from mild to life-threatening. Some fungal infections are mild skin rashes, but others can be deadly, like fungal pneumonia. Because of this, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible to try to avoid serious infection.
Fungal infections can look like bacterial or viral infections. If you’re taking medicine to fight a bacterial or viral infection and you aren’t getting better, ask your doctor about testing you for a fungal infection.
Fungal infections may be more common in certain types of transplants. Some experts think that fungal infections may be most common in small bowel transplant patients, followed by lung, liver, and heart transplant patients.1
Where you live (geography) matters. Some disease-causing fungi are more common in certain parts of the world. If you have had an organ transplant and live in or visit these areas, you’re more likely to get these infections than the general population.2 For more information on travel-related illnesses, please see the CDC Traveler’s Health site.
Your hospital stay matters. After your transplant, you may need to stay in the hospital for a long time. While there, you may need procedures that can increase your chance of getting a fungal infection. Please see types of hospital-associated infections for more information.
Fungal infections can happen any time after your surgery. Fungal infections can happen days, weeks, months, or years after the transplant surgery.3
Some types of fungal infections are more common than others in solid organ transplant patients. In the United States, invasive candidiasis is most common, followed by aspergillosis and cryptococcosis, but other types of fungal infections are also possible.1 For lung transplant patients, aspergillosis is most common.1,4
Indoor mold. You may be at higher risk for getting sick from indoor mold. For more information about indoor mold, please visit CDC's Basic Facts about Mold page.
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