The liver as an organ at risk for Toxoplasma transmission during transplantation myth or reality?

Abstract : Aim Toxoplasmosis following liver transplant with donor-recipient mismatch is rare, but is often life-threatening. However, there are no data on the frequency of cyst carriage in the liver, nor consensual chemoprophylaxis guidelines. This study aimed at describing frequency and localisation of Toxoplasma cysts in the liver in a mouse model of chronic infection to predict the risk in liver transplantation. Methods Heart, brain and liver lobes of 21 mice chronically infected with Toxoplasma were collected for DNA extraction and amplification of Toxoplasma gondii rep529 sequence by real-time PCR. Results Parasite DNA was detected in the liver of 19/21 mice (90.5%), with no preferential anatomical localisation, but with higher parasite loads in the papillary process. Parasite loads in the liver were far lower than in brain and heart. The number of infected lobes was inversely correlated to the total liver weight, but was independent of the brain parasite load and of the parasite strain. Conclusions The liver is a frequent site of cyst carriage, confirming that transplantation of an organ from a seropositive donor to seronegative recipient is at high risk for acquired toxoplasmosis. Systematic serological screening prior to transplantation and chemoprophylaxis in patients at risk are fully justified.
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Brice Autier, Sarah Dion, Florence Robert-Gangneux. The liver as an organ at risk for Toxoplasma transmission during transplantation myth or reality?. Journal of Clinical Pathology, BMJ Publishing Group, 2018, 71 (9), pp.763-766. ⟨10.1136/jclinpath-2018-205066⟩. ⟨hal-01874525⟩

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