Reducing unnecessary and harmful care for kidney transplant patients

November 26, 2014

Kidney transplantation is life-changing and even life-saving for hundreds of Canadians every year, but in about 30% of patients, the drugs that prevent organ rejection also allow the normally harmless BK virus to replicate out of control, potentially causing serious complications including transplant failure. Dr. Greg Knoll led a team of investigators, which included Drs. Dean Fergusson, Tim Ramsay, MichaŽl Chassť and Louise Lebel, to see if a commonly used antibiotic called levofloxacin could prevent this infection.

The clinical trial, which was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), showed that levofloxacin does not prevent BK virus replication and in fact, can cause harm in some patients. While the failure of this drug is disappointing, this rigorous evidence should ensure that kidney transplant patients are no longer exposed to this unnecessary and potentially harmful drug. This research was covered in a variety of medical publications, including Infection Control Today.

Funder(s): Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Ottawa Hospital Research Institute

The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute is the research arm of The Ottawa Hospital and is an affiliated institute of the University of Ottawa, closely associated with its faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences. The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute includes more than 1,700 scientists, clinical investigators, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff conducting research to improve the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease. Research at Ottawa Hospital Research Institute is supported by The Ottawa Hospital Foundation.

For further information, please contact

Paddy Moore
Communications and Public Relations
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
Office: 613-737-8899 x73687
Cell: 613-323-5680