Impact of Hepatitis E Virus Screening in the UK Deceased Organ Donor Population

Ines Ushiro-Lumb*, John Forsythe, Becky Haywood, Christie Geoghegan, Victoria Maddox, Samreen Ijaz, Derek Manas, Douglas Thorburn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Universal Hepatitis E Virus (HEV) screening of deceased organ donors was implemented by the UK national organ procurement organisation in October 2017. Donor testing for HEV infection is done post-transplant; detection of HEV ribonucleic acid (RNA) in donor plasma is therefore not a contra-indication for organ donation, with the result being used to inform recipient management. Immediate post-transplant detection of donor HEV viraemia triggers notification to transplant centres. Follow up of liver and kidney recipients has shown that transmission through solid organs is very efficient, particularly through liver grafts, as expected; no other organ types were transplanted in this cohort. Although donors with higher plasma viral load (VL > 103 IU/mL) were invariably associated with recipient infection, transmission was also documented at lower VL levels. Knowledge of donor HEV status has led to identification of transmission of infection via solid organ grafts followed by close patient monitoring and informed clinical management decisions. The purpose of this strategy is to allow early detection of infection and recurrence and treatment to circumvent the risk of accelerated liver damage from chronic HEV infection due to undiagnosed, inadvertent donor-derived transmission of infection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11673
JournalTransplant International
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2023 Ushiro-Lumb, Forsythe, Haywood, Geoghegan, Maddox, Ijaz, Manas and Thorburn.


  • donor screening
  • donor-derived infection
  • donor-derived transmission
  • hepatitis E virus
  • transplant-related infection


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