Update and actual trends on bacterial infections following liver transplantation
del Pozo JL.
Recent advances in effective antimicrobial prophylactic strategies have led to a decline in the incidence of opportunistic infections in liver transplant recipients. However, morbidity and mortality due to infectious diseases remain as major problems.
Bacterial infections occurring early after transplant are mainly related to the technical aspects of the procedure. By contrast, after the first postoperative days and beyond, the nature and variety of infectious complications change. Opportunistic bacterial infections are uncommon after 6 mo in patients receiving stable and reduced maintenance doses of immunosuppression with good graft function and little is documented about these cases in the literature.
Transplant recipients may be more susceptible to some pathogens, such as the Nocardia species, Legionella species, Listeria monocytogenes, Mycoplasma species, Salmonella species or Rhodococcus equi. Respiratory infections due to capsulated bacteria, such as Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenza, can be life-threatening if not promptly treated in this population.
These late bacterial infections may be very difficult to recognize and treat in this population. In this article, we review what has been described in the literature with regards to late bacterial infections following liver transplantation.