Annual influenza vaccination and early antiviral therapy are associated with a significant reduction in influenza-associated morbidity in transplant recipients, a recent study found. 616 solid organ transplant (SOT) or stem cell transplant (HCST) patients with confirmed influenza (77.3% with influenza A) over 5 consecutive years (2010-2015) were enrolled from 20 centers in the US, Canada, and Spain. Serial nasopharyngeal swabs were collected at diagnosis (day 0), 3, 6, 11, 18, 28 days and quantitative PCR for influenza A was performed. Researchers found:
- Antiviral therapy was given to 94.1% for a median of 5 days.
- 66.5% of patients were hospitalized and 11.0% required ICU care with 8.0% needing mechanical ventilation.
- Receipt of vaccine in the same influenza season was associated with a decrease in disease severity.
- Similarly, early antiviral treatment (within 48 hours) was associated with improved outcomes.
Kumar D, Ferreira VH, Blumberg E, et al. A five-year prospective multi-center evaluation of influenza infection in transplant recipients. [Published online ahead of print April 7, 2018]. Clin Infect Dis. doi:10.1093/cid/ciy294.
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