Home » Volumes » Volume 50 November/December 2017 » Cryptococcosis in a transplanted kidney allograft

Cryptococcosis in a transplanted kidney allograft

Stanley de Almeida Araújo1 2 André Barreto Pereira3 Roberto Ferreira de Almeida Araújo4

1Instituto de Nefropatologia, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil. 2Hospital das Clínicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil. 3Hospital Santa Júlia, Manaus, AM, Brasil. 4Faculdade de Ciências Médicas de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil.

DOI: 10.1590/0037-8682-0435-2016

The donor was a 53-year-old man who died due to acute ischemic stroke and had a creatinine level of 1.1mg/dL

A 32-year-old man with chronic kidney disease secondary to obstructive nephropathy was referred for deceased donor renal transplant, with 9 hours of cold ischemia. The donor was a 53-year-old man who died due to acute ischemic stroke and had a creatinine level of 1.1mg/dL, was cytomegalovirus IgG+ and IgM+, had 5 mismatches, and negative serology for other infections. The recipient was given thymoglobulin, and immunosuppression was maintained using tacrolimus, prednisone, and everolimus. Initially, the patient exhibited delayed graft function and was treated with methylprednisolone from 11th to 13th day, because of suspected cellular acute rejection. On the 20thday, a graft biopsy (Figure 1) revealed acute tubular necrosis and Cryptococcus sp. infection. On the 27th day, his creatinine levels increased because of amphotericin B nephrotoxicity; therefore, amphotericin B was replaced with fluconazole. However, the kidney function worsened, accompanied by severe anemia and increased levels of lactate dehydrogenase. Thus, tacrolimus was interrupted under suspicion of hemolytic uremic syndrome. Another biopsy examination revealed results similar to the first biopsy, without signs of thrombotic microangiopathy. The patient developed fever and pneumonia. Amphotericin B and cefepime were reinitiated for >3 weeks. After clinical improvement, azathioprine was initiated and the patient’s renal function recovered. Currently, the patient is taking prednisone, sirolimus, and azathioprine. Creatinine stabilized at around 1.2mg/dL. Moreover, the patient took fluconazole for 6 months. The other kidney recipient likewise presented with cryptococcosis. Both transplant recipients were diagnosed up to 1 month after the transplant. Thus, the infection was acquired from the donor who probably died due to neurocryptococcosis/systemic infection. Viral infectious diseases transmitted from donors are not uncommon1. Many diagnostic methods, including serological tests and polymerase chain reaction allow identification of several viral infectious diseases. Fungus, mycobacterium, and some protozoans do not have these same acessebles resources for screening in transplants, although are frequent reported on literature2,3. Cryptococcosis infection acquired from transplant was infrequent. This is the first description of a successfully treated cryptococcosis infection acquired from a donor.

FIGURE 1: Renal allograft biopsy. A. Multiple structures of grouped yeasts with Periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) staining, besides the glomeruli (PAS 400x). B. Tubule-interstitial granulomatous inflammatory infiltrate (see arrows) involving yeast structures with single budding dewdrop-like (PAS 400X). C. Detail of: Celled yeast prominent capsule composed mostly of polysaccharides (HE 1,000X). D. Moderate inflammatory infiltrate tubule-interstitial involving yeast structures (see arrows) of the renal tissue in focal areas in renal parenchyma (Jones Stain 200x). 


We offer our deepest thanks to the Instituto de Nefropatologia that provided technical support for the development and implementation of this study.


1. Karuthu S and Blumberg EA. Commom infections in kidney transplant recipients. Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 2012;7(12):2058-70. [ Links ]

2. Araújo AS, Maciel MMMD, Farah KP, Lucas Jr FM, Miranda SS, Sanches MD. “Transplanted” disseminated tuberculosis following kidney-pancreas Alograft. In: 12th Banff Conference on Allograft Pathology. Comandatuba-BA, 2013. Poster Available from: http://www.cybernephrology.ualberta.ca/banff/2013/2013Abstracts/Arajuo.htm Links ]

3. Schlessinger S, Kokko K, Fratkin J, Butt F, Hawxby A, Todaro M, et al. Balamuthia mandrillaris transmitted through organ transplantation – Mississippi, 2009. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2010;59(36):1165-70. [ Links ]

Received: October 26, 2016; Accepted: February 24, 2017

Corresponding author: Dr. Stanley de Almeida Araújo. e-mail:stanleyaa@gmail.com

Conflicts of interest: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.