Preventing disease transmission by deceased tissue donors by testing blood for viral nucleic acid

Cell Tissue Bank. 2005;6(4):255-62. doi: 10.1007/s10561-005-2834-4.


Nucleic acid testing (NAT) has reduced the risk of transmitting infectious disease through blood transfusion. Currently NAT for HIV-1 and HCV are FDA licensed and performed by nearly all blood collection facilities, but HBV NAT is performed under an investigational study protocol. Residual risk estimates indicate that NAT could potentially reduce disease transmission through transplanted tissue. However, tissue donor samples obtained post-mortem have the potential to produce an invalid NAT result due to inhibition of amplification reactions by hemolysis and other factors. The studies reported here summarize the development of protocols to allow NAT of deceased donor samples with reduced rates of invalid results. Using these protocols, inventories from two tissue centers were tested with greater than 99% of samples producing a valid test result.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Specimen Collection
  • DNA, Viral / blood*
  • HIV / genetics
  • HIV / isolation & purification
  • Hemoglobins / analysis
  • Hemolysis
  • Hepacivirus / genetics
  • Hepacivirus / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques
  • Plasma / virology
  • RNA, Viral / blood*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Donors*
  • Virus Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Virus Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Virus Diseases / transmission
  • Virus Diseases / virology


  • DNA, Viral
  • Hemoglobins
  • RNA, Viral