Opportunistic Infections After Induction With Alemtuzumab or Basiliximab: A 3-Year Kidney Transplantation Experience

Diana F. Florescu, Jonathan A. Seaman, Andre C. Kalil, Fang Qiu, Douglas Bremers, Scott G. Westphal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Antibody induction immunosuppression is commonly used in kidney transplantation to decrease the risk of early acute rejection. However, infectious complications may arise in patients treated with higher intensity induction immunosuppression. In this study, we compared the rate of opportunistic infections during the 3 years after kidney transplantation in recipients who received either alemtuzumab or basiliximab for induction therapy. Methods: All renal transplant recipients from our center who received induction with alemtuzumab between 2011 and 2016 were included and matched 1:2 (by age and date of transplant) to renal transplant recipients who received basiliximab. The primary outcome was the rate of opportunistic infections. Results: Twenty-seven patients received alemtuzumab (mean age = 50.8 years; SD ±12), and 54 received basiliximab (mean age = 50.8 years; SD ±11.8). Infections within 3 years posttransplant were not different between groups: BK viremia (P = .99), BK nephritis (P = .48), cytomegalovirus infection (P = .13), varicella zoster virus (P = .22), and all infections (P = .87). Time to infection (P = .67), patient survival (P = .21), and time to rejection (P = .098) were similar in both groups. There were also no group differences in delayed graft function (P = .76), graft loss (P = .97), or rejection (P = .2). Conclusion: The rate of infection was not significantly increased in recipients receiving lymphocyte-depleting alemtuzumab compared to recipients receiving basiliximab induction therapy, despite receiving similar maintenance immunosuppression. Although the immunologic risks differed between the 2 groups, there was no observable difference in clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1058-1063
Number of pages6
JournalTransplantation Proceedings
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation


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