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Organ Transplant Patients and  Infections

As an organ transplant patient, you have new opportunities for a healthy and full life. You may also have some new health challenges. One of those challenges is avoiding infections. While anti-rejection medication helps your accept the new organ by lowering your body’s immune system response, it can also put you at greater risk for  infections in general , and fungal infections in particular.

What you need to know about fungal infections

  • Fungal infections can range from mild to life-threatening. Some fungal infections are mild skin rashes, but others can be deadly, like fungal pneumonia. Because of this, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible to try to avoid serious infection.

  • Fungal infections can look like bacterial or viral infections. If you’re taking medicine to fight bacterial or viral infection and you aren’t getting better, ask your doctor about testing you for a fungal infection.

  • Fungal infections may be more common in certain types of transplants. Some experts think that fungal infections may be most common in small bowel transplant patients, followed by lung, liver, and heart transplant patients.

  • Where you live (geography) matters. Some disease-causing fungi are more common in certain parts of the world. If you have had an organ transplant and live in or visit these areas, you’re more likely to get these infections than the general population.2 For more information on travel-related illnesses, please see the CDC Traveler’s Health site.

  • Your hospital stay matters. After your transplant, you may need to stay in the hospital for a long time. While there, you may need procedures that can increase your chance of getting a fungal infection. Please see types of healthcare-associated infections for more information.

  • Fungal infections can happen any time after your surgery. Fungal infections can happen days, weeks, months, or years after the transplant surgery.

  • Some types of fungal infections are more common than others in solid organ transplant patients. In the United States, invasive candidiasis is most common, followed by aspergillosis and cryptococcosis, but other types of fungal infections are also possible.1 For lung transplant patients, aspergillosis is most common.

  • Indoor mold. You may be at higher risk for getting sick from indoor mold. For more information about indoor mold, please visit CDC's Basic Facts about Mold page.

What are signs of infection in  Transplant patients ?

  • Transplant is particularly at risk of infection yet the signs and symptoms of infections can be very subtle. We strongly recommend to all transplant patients  to contact their healthcare provider immediately if they have any concerns of infections; they should seek immediate attention if they have fever , abdominal pain, localized swelling

  • Vaccination may carry more  risks in transplant patients and may also  be less effective; it is mandatory that transplant patients discuss at length the indications , the risks and benefits of vaccination.

  • Transplant patients must protect themselves from their environment, their loved ones when they are sick, and even from themselves by avoiding to drastically change their usual flora by taking unnecessary antibiotics. 


  It’s important to note that although these actions are recommended, they have not been proven to prevent fungal infections.

 We still recommend to 

  • Try to avoid areas with a lot of dust like construction or excavation sites.

  • Stay inside during dust storms.

  • Stay away from areas with bird and bat droppings. This includes places like chicken coops and caves.

  • Wear gloves when handling materials such as soil, moss, or manure.

  • Wear shoes, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt when doing outdoor activities such as gardening, yard work, or visiting wooded areas.

Consult a doctor for medical advice or visit us at PEOPLE CARE INSTITUTE for more information


Note: The information you see here is general and describes what usually happens with a medical condition, but doesn't apply to everyone. This information IS NOT  a substitute for professional medical advice, so please  make sure to contact a healthcare provider if you have a medical problem. 

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