Journal Article

Toxoplasmosis after Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

R. Martino, J. Maertens, S. Bretagne, M. Rovira, E. Deconinck, A. J. Ullmann, T. Held and C. Cordonnier

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 31, issue 5, pages 1188-1194
Published in print November 2000 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online November 2000 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI:
Toxoplasmosis after Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation

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Forty-one cases of toxoplasmosis were diagnosed in 15 European transplantation centers in patients who had undergone allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) from 1994 through 1998. Most patients (39 [94%]) were seropositive for Toxoplasma gondii before they underwent transplantation, and 30 (73%) had developed moderate to severe acute graft-versus-host disease before they developed toxoplasmosis. Thirty-five (85%) patients had Toxoplasma disease with evidence of organ involvement, whereas 6 (15%) patients had Toxoplasma infection, as defined by fever and a positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) finding for T. gondii in blood. Nine patients were diagnosed at autopsy. Thirty patients (73%) had not received antimicrobial prophylaxis with anti-Toxoplasma activity after undergoing transplantation. The median day of onset of disease after HSCT was 64. Twenty-two (63%) patients died from toxoplasmosis, and 23 (66%) received adequate anti-Toxoplasma therapy for ⩾3 days. Among these 23 patients, 11 (48%) showed a complete response and 3 (13%) showed improvement. In univariate and multivariate analyses, having received adequate therapy and experiencing late infection (>63 days after HSCT) were associated with a lower risk of dying from toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis after HSCT is a severe infection with a high mortality rate even when diagnosed soon after HSCT, and PCR may help establish the diagnosis earlier.

Journal Article.  4720 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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