Organ transplantation is the process of surgically transferring a donated organ to someone diagnosed with organ failure. Many diseases can lead to organ failure, including heart disease, diabetes, hepatitis, cystic fibrosis, and cirrhosis. Injury and birth defects may also cause organ failure.
Infectious disease transmission through organ and tissue transplantation has been associated with severe complications in recipients. Determination of donor-derived infectious risk associated with organ and tissue transplantation is challenging and limited by availability and performance characteristics of current donor epidemiologic screening (e.g., questionnaire) and laboratory testing tools. Common methods and standards for evaluating potential donors of organs and tissues are needed to facilitate effective data collection for assessing the risk for infectious disease transmission. Research programs can use advanced microbiological technologies to define infectious risks posed by pathogens that are known to be transplant transmissible and provide insights into transmission potential of emerging infectious diseases for which transmission characteristics are unknown. Key research needs are explored. Stakeholder collaboration for surveillance and research infrastructure is required to enhance transplant safety.