International consensus guidelines on the management of cytomegalovirus in solid organ transplantation.
Transplant recipients are at high risk of cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection. Mechanisms explaining the variation in risk of infections are far from fully elucidated. We hypothesised that host genetics explains part of the variation in risk of infection and examined if relatives of recipients with CMV infection have higher rates of severe infections compared to relatives of recipients without this infectious phenotype. In a register-based study, we included first-degree relatives of transplant recipients and examined the risk of hospitalisation due to overall infection or viral infection and risk of death among relatives of recipients who developed CMV infection within the first year of transplantation compared to relatives of recipients without CMV. Analyses were adjusted for sex, age and calendar year. We included 4470 relatives who were followed for 103,786 person-years, median follow-up 24 years [interquartile range (IQR) 12–36]. There were a total of 1360 infection-related hospitalisations in the follow-up period, incidence rate (IR) 13.1/1000 person-years [95% confidence interval (CI), 12.4; 13.8]. 206 relatives were hospitalised with viral infection, IR 1.8/1000 person-years (95% CI, 1.6; 2.0). There was no increased risk of hospitalisation due to infections, IR ratio (IRR) 0.99 (95% CI, 0.88; 1.12), nor specifically viral infections, IRR 0.87 (95% CI, 0.63; 1.19), in relatives of recipients with CMV compared to relatives of recipients without CMV. Also, no difference was seen in analyses stratified by transplant type, family relation and CMV serostatus. The risk of hospitalisation due to infection is not increased among first-degree relatives of transplant recipients with CMV infection compared to relatives of recipients without CMV.