Zika Virus Infection and Solid Organ Transplantation: A New Challenge

Public health concerns exist surrounding the epidemic of the Zika virus (ZIKV) and the rapid growth of transplantation in developing countries, including endemic zones of active arbovirus transmission, as well as travel to such regions by potential organ donors and recipients. Few data exist regarding the clinical characteristics of ZIKV infection in immunocompromised hosts. Laboratory screening protocols for transplantation to differentiate ZIKV infections from other endemic viral diseases and for the detection of possible donor-derived infection have not been stated. The diagnosis of ZIKV infection remains a challenge, fueled by the lack of standardized commercially available diagnostic tests and validated reference diagnostic laboratories, as well as the limited duration of ZIKV viremia. In this small series, ZIKV infection in renal and liver recipients presented without rash, conjunctivitis, or neurological symptoms, and with abnormal graft function, thrombocytopenia, and bacterial superinfection. We report the first case series of ZIKV infection in solid organ recipients, with a description of clinical and laboratory features and therapeutic management.

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