Transfusion-transmitted infectious diseases

Biologicals. 2009 Apr;37(2):71-7. doi: 10.1016/j.biologicals.2009.01.002. Epub 2009 Feb 20.


A spectrum of blood-borne infectious agents is transmitted through transfusion of infected blood donated by apparently healthy and asymptomatic blood donors. The diversity of infectious agents includes hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV-1/2), human T-cell lymphotropic viruses (HTLV-I/II), Cytomegalovirus (CMV), Parvovirus B19, West Nile Virus (WNV), Dengue virus, trypanosomiasis, malaria, and variant CJD. Several strategies are implemented to reduce the risk of transmitting these infectious agents by donor exclusion for clinical history of risk factors, screening for the serological markers of infections, and nucleic acid testing (NAT) by viral gene amplification for direct and sensitive detection of the known infectious agents. Consequently, transfusions are safer now than ever before and we have learnt how to mitigate risks of emerging infectious diseases such as West Nile, Chikungunya, and Dengue viruses.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Deltaretrovirus Infections / complications
  • Deltaretrovirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Deltaretrovirus Infections / etiology
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious* / prevention & control
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hepatitis B / etiology
  • Hepatitis B / prevention & control
  • Hepatitis B / transmission
  • Hepatitis B / virology
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Safety
  • Transfusion Reaction*
  • Transplantation
  • Transplantation Immunology / physiology
  • Virus Diseases / prevention & control
  • Virus Diseases / transmission
  • Virus Diseases / virology