Autopsy and Case Reports
Autopsy and Case Reports
Article / Autopsy Case Report

Respiratory distress of unknown etiology in a transplant recipient: think toxoplasmosis!

Ameer Hamza; Ian Jacob Anderson; Basim Al-Khafaji

Downloads: 1
Views: 1155


Disseminated toxoplasmosis is a life-threatening disease in immunocompromised individuals. Infection is contracted from handling contaminated soil, cat litter, or through the consumption of contaminated water or food. It is the third most common lethal foodborne infection in the United States. In transplant patients, most cases occur as a result of reactivation of a latent infection resulting from immunosuppression. We present a case of disseminated toxoplasmosis diagnosed at the time of autopsy. This case emphasizes the importance of maintaining a high index of clinical suspicion and active disease surveillance in this era of sophisticated diagnostic testing.


Autopsy, Allografts, Immunosuppression, Opportunistic infections, Kidney transplantation, Toxoplasmosis


Pappas G, Roussos N, Falagas ME. Toxoplasmosis snapshots: global status of Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence and implications for pregnancy and congenital toxoplasmosis. Int J Parasitol. 2009;39(12):1385-94. [PMID:19433092] [].

Hökelek M. Toxoplasmosis. 2017 [cited 2017 Oct 11]. Available from:

Wulf MW, van Crevel R, Portier R, et al. Toxoplasmosis after renal transplantation: implications of a missed diagnosis. J Clin Microbiol. 2005;43(7):3544-7. [PMID:16000502] [].

Schoondermark-van de Ven E, Galama J, Kraaijeveld C, van Druten J, Meuwissen J, Melchers W. Value of the polymerase chain reaction for the detection of Toxoplasma gondii in cerebrospinal fluid of patients with AIDS. Clin Infect Dis. 1993;16(5):661-6. [PMID:8507757] [].

Fischer SA, Lu K. Screening of donor and recipient in solid organ transplantation. Am J Transplant. 2013;13(Suppl 4):9-21. [PMID:23464994] [].

Gourishankar S, Doucette K, Fenton J, Purych D, Kowalewska-Grochowska K, Preiksaitis J. The use of donor and recipient screening for toxoplasma in the era of universal trimethoprim sulfamethoxazole prophylaxis. Transplant. 2008;85(7):980-5. [PMID:18408578] [].








Publication date:

5a2ab97c0e8825f6523a53db autopsy Articles
Links & Downloads

Autops Case Rep

Share this page
Page Sections