In cadaveric organ transplantation there is a risk of transfer of infectious agents from donor to recipient.
The consequences can be fatal for immuosuppressed recipients. This is illustrated by a case history in which an infection with the fungus Monosporium apiospermum was transferred from a donor to two cadaveric kidney recipients, of whom one died and the other surviced with the loss of the graft.
These events led to a review of the literature to determine methods of demonstrating possible contamination of donor organs. Analysis of the case history of potential donors, a history taken from relatives or the family doctor, autopsy and laboratory examinations are considered useful. Victims of drowning, patients with severe burns and patients who have been ventilated for a long time are high risk donors.