A medical team performing a kidney transplant at the Cochin Hospital in Paris. – F.DURAND / SIPA
Two young Spaniards have died after receiving the kidneys of a donor suffering from herpes, reports Spanish daily El País on Friday. The patients, a 22-year-old woman and a 15-year-old teenager, were both from Seville.
They succumbed ten days after being grafted each kidney from the same donor. Both organs were infected with the herpes simplex virus (HSV). This highly contagious virus can be manifested in its oral (HSV1) or genital (HSV2) form.
Victims not immune
According to the Virgen del Rocío Hospital in Seville, the two transplants, done on June 30, had gone well. But the recovery of both young people was abruptly interrupted by an infection caused by HSV. The teen died on July 10, the young woman a day later. That is hardly ten days after the operation.
The Sevillian Hospital investigation then demonstrated that neither recipient was immune to HSV. On the other hand, the donor has been shown signs of "recent and asymptomatic" infection with the herpes virus.
The National Transplant Organization (NTO) refers to "absolutely exceptional" cases. She plans to review her transplant protocols. For her part, the mother of the deceased young woman accuses the health services. According to her, measures could have been taken to prevent transmission of the virus, especially since a few similar cases had already been reported in the medical literature.