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Parasite infections linked to organ transplants

Three transplant patients contracted a dangerous parasitic disease from their new organs in the United States.Two of the three women died, but only one recovered after antibiotic treatment.// A second study also released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention turned up 26 bacterial infections traced to tissue grafts that had come from cadavers in the United States.

This shows that the graft-related infections show an urgent need to update federal regulations and industry standards for preventing contamination. In the report involving the parasitic disease, all of the organs came from the cadaver of a Central American immigrant who was apparently infected with T. cruzi. The parasite causes Chagas disease, which was previously confined to Latin America. The disease can cause heart irregularities.

Federal health officials estimate as many as 100,000 Latin American immigrants in the United States may carry the parasite. More than 16 million people are said to be infected in Central and South America. 10% to 30% of people infected with the parasite develop full-blown Chagas disease.

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