Skin infections in renal transplant recipients and the relation with solar ultraviolet radiation

F. Termorshuizen, A. Hogewoning, J. Bouwes Bavinck, W. Goettsch, J.W. de Fijter, H. van Loveren

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Abstract

Ultraviolet radiation (uvr) is an important risk factor for skin cancer in transplant recipients. In view of the potential suppressive effect of uvr on host resistance it was examined whether exposure to uvr was also associated with the occurrence of various skin infections. Methods: in a cohort of renal transplant recipients (n = 137), lifetime exposure was assessed by means of a retrospective questionnaire on cumulative sunlight exposure. Diagnosed skin infections since renal transplantation were extracted from the patient's medical charts. Season of diagnosis was regarded as indicative of short-term exposure. Results: in comparison with winter a high rate of herpes simplex infections was found in spring [rate ratio (rr) = 4.09, 95% confidence interval (ci) 1.2–14.5], and high rates of herpes zoster infections (rr = 1.6, 95% ci: 0.8–3.5) and fungal/yeast infections in summer (rr = 2.1, 95% ci: 1.3–3.4). A higher lifetime exposure (rr = 2.31, 95% ci: 1.04–5.1) and a greater cumulative number of reported sunburns (rr = 2.3, 95% ci: 1.1–5.1) were independently associated with a higher risk of bacterial infections. Conclusions: the seasonal association with the occurrence of clinical herpes infections indicates an effect of short-term uvr. Our data suggest that the number of sunburn episodes in the past is also relevant for the susceptibility to certain skin infections.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-527
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Transplantation
Volume17
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003

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