What is the risk of transfusion-transmitted arbovirus infection?

Updated: Jan 15, 2017
  • Author: Mudassar Zia, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Like West Nile virus, mosquito-borne dengue viruses (DENV), chikungunya virus (CHIKV), and zika virus (ZIKV) have the potential to be transmitted through blood. 

As of April 2016, no blood transfusion-transmitted cases of Zika virus infection had been confirmed in Puerto Rico or the continential US, however, Zika virus was detected retrospectively in 2.8% of asymptomatic blood donors during 2013–2014. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended ceasing blood donations in areas of the United States affected by active transmission of Zika virus until laboratory screening or pathogen reduction technology (PRT) for treatment of blood components can be implemented. [45]

Both dengue viruses (DENV) and chikungunya virus (CHIKV), pose a risk to the safe transfusion of blood components, including plasma. During a 2012 outbreak of DENV in Brazil, 42 DENV-positive units were transfused into 35 recipients. [46] In a study investigating the use of methylene blue and light illumination at 630 nm for pathogen inactivation, resulted in at least a 4.46-log reduction in all DENV serotypes and CHIKV infectious virus, suggesting it may be an effective option for managing the risk of transfusion transmission. [47]  

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