Experience with miltefosine for persistent or relapsing visceral leishmaniasis in solid organ transplant recipients: a case series from Spain.

Research paper by Maria A MA Pérez-Jacoiste Asín, Nerea N Carrasco-Antón, Mario M Fernández-Ruiz, Rafael R San Juan, Rodrigo R Alonso-Moralejo, Esther E González, Amado A Andrés, Francisco F López-Medrano, Jose M JM Aguado

Indexed on: 22 Oct '16Published on: 22 Oct '16Published in: Transplant Infectious Disease


The incidence of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) after solid organ transplantation (SOT) is increasing. The optimal therapy for post-transplant VL remains unclear, as relapses after liposomal amphotericin B (L-AmB) are common. Miltefosine has been shown to be effective for treating VL in immunocompetent patients, although data in the specific population of SOT recipients are lacking.In the setting of an outbreak of leishmaniasis occurring in Southwest Madrid, we reviewed our experience in 6 SOT recipients with persistent or relapsing VL who received a 28-day course of miltefosine (2.5 mg/kg/day) as salvage therapy. All patients had been treated previously with L-AmB as first-line therapy.The incident episode of VL occurred at a median of 14 months after transplantation. Two patients experienced persistent infection and the remaining 4 had a relapse after a median interval of 168 days since the completion of the course of L-AmB. All the patients had an apparent initial clinical improvement with miltefosine. However, VL relapsed in 3 of them (after a median interval of 46 days), which required retreatment with L-AmB-based regimens. Miltefosine therapy was followed by a prolonged secondary prophylaxis with L-AmB in the only 2 cases with sustained clinical response and ongoing immunosuppression. No adverse effects associated with miltefosine were observed.Albeit limited, our experience suggests that miltefosine monotherapy likely has a limited utility to obtain a long-lasting clinical response in complicated (persistent or relapsing) forms of post-transplant VL, although its role in association with L-AmB-based secondary prophylaxis may merit further investigation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.