Incidence of COVID-19 and Identification of Possible Risk Factors Associated with COVID-19 in Acute Renal Transplant Recipients in Pakistan
Annals of Transplantation
Background: Material/Methods: Results: Conclusions: Renal transplant recipients are susceptible to increased mortality with COVID-19 infection. There is insufficient data regarding risk factors for COVID-19 disease acquisition. We aimed to identify them here. We enrolled Pakistani renal transplant recipients from February 10, 2020, to March 18, 2021, and actively tracked their baseline health status, transplant characteristics, comorbidities, immunosuppressive therapies, and post-transplant follow-ups until September 2021. Furthermore, we formulated 2 questionnaires for their compliance assessment with COVID-19-preventive measures. We also identified COVID-19 disease acquisition, symptomatology, and management. Among the 50 enrolled patients, 14 (28%) patients developed COVID-19, which is higher than the incidence observed in general Pakistani population (0.55%). Their mean age was 35.38 years ±11.69 SD years, and 82% of patients were males. The following factors were independently associated with COVID-19 disease: female gender (P value: 0.042), diabetes mellitus (P value: 0.002), anti-thymocyte globulin (ATG) induction (P value: 0.006), in-person follow-ups (P value: 0.000), prolonged immediate and late post-transplant hospital stays (P value: 0.019 and 0.000, respectively), raised post-transplant serum creatinine (P value: 0.019), and COVID-19 protective measures non-compliance (P value: 0.000). Out of 14 infected recipients, 92.85% required symptomatic management and overall mortality was 0%. Female gender, diabetes mellitus, ATG induction, in-person follow-ups, prolonged hospital stays, raised post-transplant serum creatinine, and COVID-19-protective measures non-compliance were associated with the higher acquisition of SARS-CoV-2 infection. By taking concrete measures against these risk factors, we can contin-ue renal transplants, as overall mortality was lower than in the general Pakistani population (2%).
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