Objectives: In immunocompromised patients, asymptomatic Leishmania infection can reactivate, and evolve to severe disease. To date, no test is considered the gold standard for the identification of asymptomatic Leishmania infection. A combination of methods was employed to screen for Leishmania infection in patients undergoing kidney transplant (KT). Methods: We employed polymerase chain reaction for the detection of parasitic DNA in peripheral blood, Western blot to identify serum immunoglobulin G and whole blood assay to detect cytokines/chemokines after stimulation of whole blood with parasitic antigen. Results: One-hundred twenty patients residing in Italy were included in the study at the time of KT. Each patient that tested positive to at least one test was considered as Leishmania positive. Fifty out of 120 patients (42%) tested positive for one or more tests. The detection of specific cell-mediated response (32/111, 29%) was the most common marker of Leishmania infection, followed by a positive serology (24/120, 20%). Four patients (3%) harbored parasitic DNA in the blood. Conclusion: Our findings underline the high prevalence of asymptomatic Leishmania infection in patients undergoing KT in Italy, who are potentially at-risk for parasite reactivation and can benefit from an increased vigilance. Understanding the clinical relevance of these findings deserves further studies.

Identification of asymptomatic Leishmania infection in patients undergoing kidney transplant using multiple tests

Provenzano, Michele;
2024-01-01

Abstract

Objectives: In immunocompromised patients, asymptomatic Leishmania infection can reactivate, and evolve to severe disease. To date, no test is considered the gold standard for the identification of asymptomatic Leishmania infection. A combination of methods was employed to screen for Leishmania infection in patients undergoing kidney transplant (KT). Methods: We employed polymerase chain reaction for the detection of parasitic DNA in peripheral blood, Western blot to identify serum immunoglobulin G and whole blood assay to detect cytokines/chemokines after stimulation of whole blood with parasitic antigen. Results: One-hundred twenty patients residing in Italy were included in the study at the time of KT. Each patient that tested positive to at least one test was considered as Leishmania positive. Fifty out of 120 patients (42%) tested positive for one or more tests. The detection of specific cell-mediated response (32/111, 29%) was the most common marker of Leishmania infection, followed by a positive serology (24/120, 20%). Four patients (3%) harbored parasitic DNA in the blood. Conclusion: Our findings underline the high prevalence of asymptomatic Leishmania infection in patients undergoing KT in Italy, who are potentially at-risk for parasite reactivation and can benefit from an increased vigilance. Understanding the clinical relevance of these findings deserves further studies.
2024
Asymptomatic Leishmania infection
Kidney transplant recipients
Screening tests
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/366375
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