Giuseppe Orefice, Raffaella Vigilante, Chiara Mennillo, Sofia Giuliana, Carolina Ruosi, Rosa Maria Pollastro, Federica Calò, Alessandra Perna, Mariadelina Simeoni
2021 Nephrology, Dialysis and Transplantation  
Background Belatacept is a new non-nephrotoxic anti-rejection drug that blocks the CD80 / CD86-CD28 complex, that normally activates T lymphocytes. Although the BENEFIT study proposes its use at the forefront of immunosuppressive therapy to prevent renal transplant rejection, the risk of opportunistic infections should not be underestimated, as demonstrated by the following clinical case. Case report We report the case of a 71-year-old male kidney transplant recipient that at 7-month follow-up
more » ... howed a relevant rise of serum creatinine up to 3.8 mg/dl related to graft rejection. The patient started a cycle of treatment with Belatacept in accomplishment to international studies, with improvement in renal function (serum creatinine: 2.8 mg/dl). After 8 months of therapy, due to the appearance of left brachio-crural hypoasthenia, a brain CT and a brain MRI (both without contrast media because of the severe graft dysfunction) were consecutively performed. Imaging revealed multiple nodular formations in the right hemisphere, compatible with brain abscesses or neuro-lymphoma. Belatacept was promptly suspended, a rachicentesis for liquor analysis performed, and a broad spectrum empiric antibiotic therapy was started on Infectious Disease Specialist advice. After Toxoplasma Gondii positivity was found by PCR on cerebrospinal fluid, neuro-lymphoma was excluded and the patient was switched to a targeted antibiotic therapy with Trimethoprim / Sulfamethoxazole (dose adjusted to renal function) for 6 weeks and subsequently, a maintenance course with Sulfadiazine and Pyrimethamine. During treatment, brain lesions showed progressive reduction, with marked clinical improvement and stabilization of renal function (eGFR 25 ml / min). Conclusions As far as is known in the literature, this is the first case of Toxoplasma Gondii brain infection that can be correlated with the use of Belactacept. The appearance of a severe opportunistic infection, in a short period of time after the introduction of Belatacept, could indicate the direct role of Belatacept in the development of these brain abscesses and indicates the importance of carefully evaluating the use of the drug in elderly patients with reduced renal function, in which adequate prophylactic therapy would be particularly indicated.
doi:10.1093/ndt/gfab111.0027 fatcat:64kd4ufhqrdfthqvddkcymf7ne