Cryptococcus transmission through solid organ transplantation in the United States: A report from the Ad Hoc Disease Transmission Advisory Committee

Lasya R. Penumarthi, Ricardo M. La Hoz, Cameron R. Wolfe, Brendan R. Jackson, Aneesh K. Mehta, Maricar Malinis, Lara Danziger-Isakov, Lynne Strasfeld, Diana F. Florescu, Gabriel Vece, Sridhar V. Basavaraju, Marian G. Michaels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Cryptococcus species can cause serious life-threatening infection in solid organ transplant recipients by reactivation of prior infection, posttransplant de novo infection, or donor transmission from the transplanted organ. Although previously reported in the literature, the extent of donor-derived cryptococcosis in the United States has not been documented. We analyzed potential donor-derived Cryptococcus transmission events reported to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) for investigation by the Ad Hoc Disease Transmission Advisory Committee (DTAC). All reports between 2009 and 2019 in which transmission to recipients was designated proven or probable, or determined to be averted due to implementation of prophylaxis (intervention without disease transmission—“IWDT”) were included. During 2009–2019, 58 reports of potential donor-derived cryptococcosis were submitted to DTAC. Among these reports, 12 donors were determined to have resulted in proven or probable transmission to 23/34 (67.6%) recipients. Most of these donors (10/12 [83%]) exhibited central nervous system-related symptoms prior to death and 5/23 (22%) infected recipients died. For 11 different donors, prophylaxis, most often with fluconazole, was administered to 23/35 (65.7%) recipients. Clinicians should maintain awareness of donor-derived cryptococcosis and consider prompt prophylaxis or treatment followed by reporting to OPTN for further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1911-1923
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021


  • antibiotic prophylaxis
  • antibiotic: antifungal
  • clinical research / practice
  • donors and donation: donor-derived infections
  • infection and infectious agents - fungal
  • infectious disease
  • organ procurement and allocation
  • organ transplantation in general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Cryptococcus transmission through solid organ transplantation in the United States: A report from the Ad Hoc Disease Transmission Advisory Committee'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this