DZIF Transplant Cohort

The DZIF Transplant Cohort is part of the research field “Infections of the immunocompromised Host” and especially focuses on concerns of patients who have received a donor organ or a stem cell transplant.


In order to prevent the rejection of a new organ, donor organ recipients have to take immunosuppressant drugs over a lifetime, which partially weaken the body’s immune response. The new organ is protected but this also results in an increased susceptibility to infection, making organ recipients particularly susceptible to pathogens. Stem cell recipients also initially have significantly impaired immune defence systems due to both the underlying illness and the treatment.

This means that infections occur more frequently than normal and can lead to complications. If an organ has been transplanted, infections can impair the organ’s function and, in the worst case, lead to failure of the new organ.

A patient’s individual risk of developing complications is dependent on many different factors. The better the relationships between the type of transplant, pre-existing illness, drugs and the occurring infections are understood, the better prevention and treatment can be put into practice.

Our goals

With the help of the Transplant Cohort, medical data and biological samples of transplant patients can be collected and managed throughout Germany. These data and samples form the basis of scientific studies which investigate the connections between the numerous factors influencing an organ’s susceptibility to infection and its function. In collaboration with the participating hospitals and research establishments, we aim to promote information exchange and to gain new knowledge. The study results could lead to new insights and continuously improve the treatment of transplant patients.