Kaposi sarcoma (KS) can develop following organ transplantation through reactivation of recipient human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) infection or through donor-derived HHV-8 transmission. We describe 6 cases of donor-derived HHV-8 infection and KS investigated from July 2018 to January 2020. Organs from 6 donors, retrospectively identified as HHV-8-positive, with a history of drug use disorder, were transplanted into 22 recipients. Four of 6 donors had risk factors for HHV-8 infection reported in donor history questionnaires. Fourteen of 22 organ recipients (64%) had evidence of posttransplant HHV-8 infection. Lung recipients were particularly susceptible to KS. Four of the 6 recipients who developed KS died from KS or associated complications. The US opioid crisis has resulted in an increasing number and proportion of organ donors with substance use disorder, and particularly injection drug use history, which may increase the risk of HHV-8 transmission to recipients. Better awareness of the risk of posttransplant KS for recipients of organs from donors with HHV-8 infection risk could be useful for recipient management. Testing donors and recipients for HHV-8 is currently challenging with no validated commercial serology kits available. Limited HHV-8 antibody testing is available through some US reference laboratories and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- clinical research/practice
- donors and donation: donor-derived infections
- infection and infectious agents
- infectious disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pharmacology (medical)