One of the recipients, a 64-year-old man, developed severe nausea, loss of appetite and abdominal swelling nine weeks after receiving a pancreas and kidney. Stool samples, urine samples and biopsies uncovered S. stercoralis -- both adult worms and larvae.
Doctors then followed up with a 14-year-old kidney recipient 10 weeks after his transplant and found he had a fever, rash, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Testing revealed that he, too, had the roundworm infection.
Both recovered after treatment with antiparasitic medications.
But a heart recipient who was found to have S. stercoralis larvae in his respiratory system died 11 weeks after his transplant. The CDC report didn't state, however, that the infection caused the 59-year-old's death. The liver recipient, 66, also died, but an autopsy showed no signs of the parasitic infection.
Besides donor screening for Strongyloides, the CDC recommended improved communication to protect transplant patients.
"Rapid communication among transplant centers and organ-procurement organizations is also vital to protect organ recipients when there is a concern for disease transmission," the report stated.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about Strongyloides.
SOURCE: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, April 12, 2013
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