Transplanted kidney a source of rabies virus

The kidney donor was later found to have rabies, after it was revealed he sustained at least two raccoon bites for which he sought no medical care.

The donor’s symptoms prior to death were “in retrospect” consistent with rabies, but he had been presumed to have ciguatera poisoning, the researchers found.

Three other organ recipients were asymptomatic but were treated with rabies post-exposure prophylaxis, said the Centers for Disease Control researchers.

JAMA 2013; 310:398-407