Skip to main content Accessibility help

Positive Cultures of Organ Preservation Fluid Predict Postoperative Infections in Solid Organ Transplantation Recipients

  • Cedric P. Yansouni (a1), Nandini Dendukuri (a2), Guoyuan Liu (a2), Myriam Fernandez (a3), Charles Frenette (a1) (a4), Steven Paraskevas (a3) and Donald C. Sheppard (a1)...



The significance of positive cultures of organ preservation fluid (OPF) in solid organ transplantation is not known. We sought to describe the microbiology and define the clinical impact of positive OPF cultures.


Retrospective cohort study.


Tertiary care hospital.


A consecutive sample of all solid organ transplantations at our center between July 2006 and January 2009 was reviewed. A total of 331 allografts (185 kidneys, 104 livers, 31 pancreases, and 11 hearts) met the inclusion criterion of having OPF cultures taken from the transplanted allograft.


Organisms recovered from OPF were classified as high or low risk according to their virulence. Clinical outcomes were compared between recipients of organs with positive OPF cultures and recipients of organs with negative OPF cultures.


OPF cultures were positive in 62.2% of allografts and yielded high-risk organisms in 17.8%. Normal skin flora constituted the majority of positive OPF cultures, while Enterobacteriaceae spp. and Staphylococcus aureus made up the majority of high-risk organisms. Recipients of allografts with positive OPF cultures developed more frequent bacterial infections, regardless of allograft type (relative risk, 2.39; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.61–3.54). Moreover, isolation of a given organism in OPF samples was associated with the development of a clinical infection with the same organism, regardless of allograft type.


Positive cultures of OPF are common events in solid organ transplantation, frequently involve high-risk organisms, and are associated with the development of postoperative clinical bacterial infections. Further study is required to determine the optimal strategies for their prevention and management.


Corresponding author

Department of Clinical Sciences, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nationalestraat 155, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium (


Hide All
1. Fischer, SA, Avery, RK. Screening of donor and recipient prior to solid organ transplantation. Am J Transplant 2009;9(suppl 4): S7S18.
2. Gottesdiener, KM. Transplanted infections: donor-to-host transmission with the allograft. Ann Intern Med 1989;110(12): 10011016.
3. Cerutti, E, Stratta, C, Romagnoli, R, et al. Bacterial- and fungal-positive cultures in organ donors: clinical impact in liver transplantation. Liver Transplant 2006;12(8):12531259.
4. Calvino, J, Romero, R, Pintos, E, et al. Renal artery rupture secondary to pretransplantation Candida contamination of the graft in two different recipients. Am J Kidney Dis 1999;33(1): E3.
5. Horan, TC, Andrus, M, Dudeck, MA. CDC/NHSN surveillance definition of health care-associated infection and criteria for specific types of infections in the acute care setting. Am J Infect Control 2008;36(5):309332.
6. Albano, L, Bretagne, S, Mamzer-Bruneel, MF, et al. Evidence that graft-site candidiasis after kidney transplantation is acquired during organ recovery: a multicenter study in France. Clin Infect Dis 2009;48(2):194202.
7. Sharma, AK, Smith, G, Smith, D, et al. Clinical outcome of cadaveric renal allografts contaminated before transplantation. Transplant Int 2005;18(7):824827.
8. Matignon, M, Botterel, F, Audard, V, et al. Outcome of renal transplantation in eight patients with Candida sp. contamination of preservation fluid. Am J Transplant 2008;8(3):697700.
9. Canaud, G, Timsit, MO, Zuber, J, et al. Early conservative intervention for Candida contamination of preservative fluid without allograft nephrectomy. Nephrol Dial Transplant 2009;24(4): 13251327.
10. Linares, L, Cofan, F, Cervera, C, et al. Infection-related mortality in a large cohort of renal transplant recipients. Transplant Proc 2007;39(7):22252227.
11. Bert, F, Larroque, B, Paugam-Burtz, C, et al. Microbial epidemiology and outcome of bloodstream infections in liver transplant recipients: an analysis of 259 episodes. Liver Transplant 2010;16(3):393401.
12. Polk, RE, Fox, C, Mahoney, A, Letcavage, J, MacDougall, C. Measurement of adult antibacterial drug use in 130 US hospitals: comparison of defined daily dose and days of therapy. Clin Infect Dis 2007;44(5):664670.
13. Fridkin, SK, Edwards, JR, Courval, JM, et al. The effect of vancomycin and third-generation cephalosporins on prevalence of vancomycin-resistant enterococci in 126 U.S. adult intensive care units. Ann Intern Med 2001;135(3):175183.
14. Freeman, RB, Giatras, I, Falagas, ME, et al. Outcome of transplantation of organs procured from bacteremic donors. Transplantation 1999;68(8):11071111.


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed