Rabies transmittted in transplanted organs

rabiesby davedehetre

Deadly Rabies Traced to Kidney Transplant
[Via Medpage Today]

A third instance of rabies transmission following organ transplantation has occurred, with a patient dying 18 months after receiving a kidney from a deceased donor who was not known to be infected with the rabies virus, researchers reported.


This is very rare (10s of thousands of transplant have happened with only 3 dying from rabies) but it indicates that rabies may be much more complex than we thought.  For example, one of the donors had been bitten by wildlife but had not developed any symptoms from those bites. The latest recipient  died 18 months after the transplant instead of within 6 weeks. In addition, 3 other people have developed rabies antibodies from transplanted organs but have not died.

Trying to figure out just what to do in order to properly screen organs will be a large focus going forward.