Infectious Disease

ID physicians can help expand availability, health of donor organs

October 13, 2023

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BOSTON — Every year, approximately 100,000 people are on waitlists for organ transplants, but only a small fraction find suitable donors, according to Emily Blumberg, MD, FIDSA, director of transplant infectious diseases at Penn Medicine.

Blumberg, who gave the Maxwell Finland Lecture at IDWeek, said ID physicians have a role in solving the crisis.

“One thing we can do is to create systems that are safer to prevent transmission of infections to these organ recipients,” she said in a video interview with Healio.

Beyond that, ID physicians must continue their research, which has already made it possible to transplant organs from hepatitis C virus-positive donors to HCV-negative recipients thanks to curative therapies, Blumberg said — an especially significant advancement in the context of the opioid epidemic.

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Sources/Disclosures

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Source:

Blumberg E. Maxwell Finland Lecture. Presented at: IDWeek; Oct. 11-15, 2023; Boston.

Disclosures:
Blumberg reports consulting and advising work for Aerium Therapeutics and grant and research support from Merck, Scynexis and Takeda/Shire.

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