Appointment of Asunción Moreno, Group leader
In transplanted patients, infections can be serious and endanger organ viability and even the patient's life. A multidisciplinary team is necessary for their prevention and control

Current research

Problem

Transplant patients require immunosuppressive treatment to prevent graft rejection. However, this causes immunodepression (lowering of defences), which makes the patient more prone to infections. For this reason, it is very important to be familiar with the most common infections and prevent them using antimicrobial and other prophylactic measures.

Infections differ over time, and so specialists must know how to request the pertinent tests and apply the most appropriate treatment in order to reduce patient morbidity and mortality.

Approach

The group is made up of specialists in infectious diseases, microbiology, immunology, as well as experts in diverse organ specialities (nephrology, gastroenterology, cardiology, endocrinology and surgery, among others) and in transplant coordination. Almost fifty per cent of transplant patients will develop an infection during the postoperative phase. The group's objective is to reduce the number of infections and minimise their severity, and to achieve this they develop and apply prophylactic, diagnostic and antimicrobial therapy protocols.

Impact

These preventive, diagnostic and therapeutic measures have a positive effect on the solid-organ transplant population and on immunosuppressed patients. Antimicrobial prophylaxis and other prevention measures are applied and developed (vaccines, colonisation by multi-drug resistant bacteria, etc.). Protocols are applied for the study and early detection of diverse infections, as are highly effective antimicrobial treatment guidelines for use in opportunistic and nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infections. In addition, isolation measures are applied in cases when the micro-organism detected makes this necessary.

Many of the results of the studies published by the group in biomedical journals have been included in national and international clinical practice guidelines.