Viral infections in renal transplant donors and their recipients: A prospective study

Henry H. Balfour, Michael S. Slade, Janal M. Kalis, Richard J. Howard, Richard L. Simmons, John S. Najarian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The majority of renal allograft recipients develop viral infections, usually with cytomegalovirus (CMV). Their source of virus has not been defined clearly; one possibility is the transplanted kidney itself. To explore this, prospective viral studies were performed on 28 living related donor-recipient pairs. Donors did not have clinical illnesses and viruses were not recovered from throat, urine, or renal tissue, but five (18 percent) had fourfold rises in antibody titers to herpes group viruses. During the 6 months after transplantation, 24 recipients (86 percent) had viral infections, 18 of which were associated with CMV. There was no correlation between specific titer rises in the donors and infections in the recipients. Recipients with dual viral infections had more severe clinical courses than those with single infections or with no infection. Recipients with complement-fixing (CF) antibodies to CMV pretransplant had a higher incidence of CMV infections than recipients without pretransplant antibody. Three of seven recipients who lacked CF antibody to CMV and whose donors were seropositive developed clinical illnesses associated with CMV. Latent virus might have been transmitted with the transplanted kidney in these instances, but since lack of CF antibody does not rule out previous CMV infection, the CMV could have been of recipient origin. We conclude that the donor organ is a source of virus for few renal transplant recipients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-492
Number of pages6
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1977


Dive into the research topics of 'Viral infections in renal transplant donors and their recipients: A prospective study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this