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20th December 2022 Latest News

Fighting to Protect Kidney Transplant Patients

Professor Toby Coates

Professor Toby Coates AO, Director of Transplantation and Professor of Medicine at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and the University of Adelaide, is fighting to protect kidney transplant patients from Covid-19.

Over 13,000 Australians are living with a kidney transplant, and around 25 per cent of this group will lose their lives if they contract Covid-19.

Early in the pandemic, Professor Coates and his team recognised the risks and life-threatening complications of catching Covid-19 for kidney transplant patients and started two crucial trials in March 2021 when the Covid-19 vaccine first became available in Australia.

From these world-first trials, Professor Coates has identified three key ways to improve the vaccination response and prevent the dangers of Covid-19 for those living with a kidney transplant:

  • vaccinating the kidney transplant patient’s household and close contacts at the same time as the patient, known as ring vaccination
  • taking an immunosuppressive called ‘Sirolimus’ which helps the patient’s immune response and increases ‘soldiers’ fighting off infections like Covid-19
  • using the microbiome – otherwise known as bugs in the gut – to promote better vaccine responses.

By combining these findings in the fight against Covid-19, Professor Coates has found the most effective way to protect people living with kidney disease.

The team has received extremely positive results from their world-first study and are excited to move forward to the next phase of their study!

Thanks to your donations, Professor Coates is continuing two clinical trials which involve:

  • temporarily altering a patient’s immunosuppressive medication (which prevents the body from rejecting the transplant), and 
  • changing their diet prior to vaccination in order to boost their protective immune response.

The outcome of these trials is crucial, as they have the potential to alter guidelines for protecting this vulnerable group.

Professor Coates can only make these essential guidelines a reality with the generosity of the KTDRA supporters.

It’s not too late to donate! Support Professor Toby Coates lifesaving research and donate online here.