Aims Infection following transplantation is a cause of morbidity and mortality. Perfusion fluid (PF) used to preserve organs between recovery and transplantation represents a medium suitable for the growth of microbes. We evaluated the relevance of positive growth from PF sampled before the implantation of kidney or kidney–pancreas (KP) allografts.
Methods Between January 2007 and January 2011, 548 kidney/KP transplants were performed in our centre. A retrospective review of patient records with culture-positive PF was performed.
Results PF was received from 483 (88%) patients, of which 35 (7%, 95% CI 5.3% to 9.9%) were positive for bacteria (31/483, 6.4%, 95% CI 4.6% to 9.8%) and fungi (4/483, 0.8%, 95% CI 0.3% to 2.1%). Thirty-two of the 35 culture-positive PF (91.4%, 95% CI 77.6% to 97%) were considered insignificant. The remaining three patients developed sepsis postoperatively, which was considered to be possibly related to growth in PF; Escherichia coli in one and Klebsiella pneumoniae in two. Of the non-skin flora bacteria cultured from PF, six were resistant to the prophylactic antibiotic given intraoperatively, but only one developed infection postoperatively (E coli, resistant to the co-amoxiclav).
Conclusions Significant attributable morbidity associated with PF-positive culture results was relatively rare. Culture of organisms other than Enterobacteriaceae or fungi are likely to represent contamination.
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