Screening potential heart donors for toxoplasma is suggested by the OPTN Ad Hoc Disease Transmission Advisory Committee (DTAC) as a way to enhance transplant recipient safety. This simple test can help reduce the number of unexpected donor-derived Toxoplasma transmissions. Hearts from donors with Toxoplasma can be successfully transplanted into recipients that do not already have the disease before transplant. Prophylactic treatment has been very effective in preventing the transmission of this disease in recipients who are immunosuppressed in order to prevent rejection of their new organ.
The Committee partnered with UNOS to develop an e-learning module. The DTAC’s Toxoplasma Education Subcommittee, led by Dr. Edward Dominguez, provided subject-matter expertise for this effort. The Committee hopes that this module will be helpful in educating OPO and heart recipient center staff regarding donor testing and recipient prophylaxis and preventing unexpected transmission events.