J Am Coll Cardiol. 2007 Nov 13;50(20):1967-72. Epub 2007 Oct 29
Pre-transplant Toxoplasma gondii seropositivity among heart transplant recipients is associated with an increased risk of all-cause and cardiac mortality
Arora S, Jenum PA, Aukrust P, Rollag H, Andreassen AK, Simonsen S, Gude E, Fiane AE, Geiran O, Gullestad L
Department of Cardiology, Rikshospitalet-Radiumhospitalet Medical Center, Oslo, Norway. email@example.com
OBJECTIVES: We evaluated the risk of mortality, development of cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV), and acute cellular rejection among Toxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) seropositive heart transplant (HTx) recipients and the 4 donor/recipient seropairing groups. BACKGROUND: Chronic T. gondii infection is known to trigger potentially adverse immunoregulatory changes, but the long-term implication for HTx recipients has not been assessed previously. METHODS: Frozen pre-HTx serum samples of 288 recipients and 246 donors were evaluated for T. gondii serostatus using Platelia immunoglobulin G immunoassay. Patients had undergone prospective serotesting using alternative assays, and results determined by the 2 methods were compared. Data regarding mortality, CAV, and acute cellular rejection were available for all patients. RESULTS: Overall, 211 recipients (73%) were seronegative and 77 (27%) were seropositive. In total, 82 recipients died, 76 developed CAV, and 82 had 1 or more episode of treated cellular rejection. Recipient seropositivity was associated with a significantly higher risk of all-cause (hazard ratio [HR] 1.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1 to 3.4; p = 0.02) and CAV mortality (HR 4.4, 95% CI 1.3 to 15.6; p = 0.02) and a higher risk of developing advanced CAV (HR 2.7, 95% CI 1.2 to 5.8; p = 0.01). Seropositivity did not influence the number of rejection episodes, and donor/recipient seropairing was not a risk factor for any end point. CONCLUSIONS: T. gondii seropositivity among HTx recipients is associated with an increased risk of all-cause and CAV mortality and of development of advanced CAV. This may be mediated via immunoregulatory changes triggered by chronic T. gondii infection and needs to be explored further.
PMID: 17996562 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]