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COVID-19 - Vaccination evaluation, donation and transplant activity

Monday September 12, 2022 - 11:35 to 13:05

Room: C1

210.17 Bacterial and viral Infections after kidney transplant before and after the COVID-19 pandemic

Angelica Perez-Gutierrez, United States

Assistant Professor
University of Chicago


Bacterial and viral Infections after kidney transplant before and after the COVID-19 pandemic

Angelica Perez-Gutierrez1, Braden Juengel1, Sambhavi Krishnamoorthy1, Piotr J Bachul1, Piotr Witkowski1, Rolf N Barth1, John Fung1.

1Surgery, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States

Background: Infectious complications are a major cause of mortality and morbidity after kidney transplantation. During the COVID-19 pandemia there were several changes in the management and behavior of patients after transplant. These included measures such as universal masking, social distancing and reinforcing hand hygiene. Our objective was to evaluate if these differences affected the incidence of infections after kidney transplant.

Methods: This is a retrospective cohort study of all kidney transplants performed in our institution from March 2017 to November 2020. We examined the incidence of wound infection, urinary tract infection (UTI), pneumonia, and gastrointestinal (GI) infections. Pediatric and multi-organ transplants were excluded. We used the Fisher test, Chi-squared test of independence and logistic regression models in the analysis. All tests were based on a level of significance of α=0.05.

Results: A total of 185 deceased donor kidney transplant patients were reviewed, 153 before and 54 after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in theUnited States. The incidence of wound infection, pneumonia and GI infection were similar before and after COVID (Table 1). There was a significant increase in UTI after the COVID-19 pandemic, the main organisms isolated were Klebsiella pneumonia (50%) and E. coli (25%) (Table 2). Overall the presence of UTI and wound infection were significantly associated (OR 4.2, p = 0.06). Other clinical variables such as age, body mass index (BMI), kidney donor profile index (KDPI), estimated post-transplant survival score (EPTS), and the occurrence of delayed graft function were not associated with UTI. The incidence of viral infections (CMV, EBV and BK viremia) was similar before and after COVID.  Infections due to COVID-19 itself  were present with similar incidence: 12% in patients transplanted before and 14.8% in patients transplanted after the onset of the pandemic. Induction with Thymoglobulin or Basiliximab was not significantly different before and after COVID-19, and the choice of induction was not associated with the rate of UTI.

Conclusions: While multiple changes in the management of patients and patient behavior are different before and after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, this analysis did not find significant change in the incidence of infections except for UTI in comparative cohorts of kidney transplant recipients. This study did not identify specific factors associated with the increase of UTI in our population. However, in response certain measures were implemented, such as reducing the time to ureteral stent removal and giving 24 hrs of prophylactic antibiotics at the time of stent removal.

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