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AABB > Press Room > Press Releases

For Immediate Release
August 4, 2009 
Jennifer Garfinkel

 TRANSFUSION Journal Supplement Focuses on Identification of 68 Emerging Infectious Disease Agents  

Publication Designed to Help Clinicians and Medical
Experts Recognize and Manage Emerging Infections in Blood Donors and Recipients

Bethesda, Md. – The August issue of TRANSFUSION, the foremost publication in the world for new information regarding transfusion medicine and the official peer-reviewed journal of AABB, includes a special supplement on emerging infectious disease (EID) agents and their potential threat to transfusion safety.  Members of AABB’s Transfusion Transmitted Diseases (TTD) Committee identified 68 infectious agents and described them in detail in the supplement, including dengue and chikungunya viruses, Plasmodium species, Babesia and H1N1 influenza virus.  The supplement provides a set of tools identifying, describing, and prioritizing EID agents that have an actual or potential risk of transmission by transfusion and for which there is no currently implemented intervention.

“West Nile virus and the H1N1 influenza virus are two relatively new infectious agents making headlines today, but many more emerging infectious diseases could greatly affect our population,” said Susan L. Stramer, PhD, Secretary/Treasurer of AABB’s Board of Directors and a representative on the AABB’s TTD Committee.  “Vigilance and preparation are essential, and the August TRANSFUSION supplement is designed to focus attention on  these EID agents, thereby creating dialogue among blood establishments, regulatory authorities, public health agencies, the medical community and industry — all of whom will need to proactively work together to develop implementation intervention plans.”

The supplement contains a set of 68 fact sheets, each of which references systematic information about a single agent.  The fact sheets include background information about each agent, along with a variety of assessments such as the clinical features of the agent and those characteristics specifically related to transfusion transmission.  The fact sheets do not represent compliance requirements, but instead serve as a starting point for developing policies.

Also included are a narrative introducing the concept of emergence, a description of how agents were assessed and prioritized, a section describing agents potentially involved in bioterrorism and a section describing what is known about pathogen reduction methods — the most proactive approach against such agents.  Tables summarize the agents by agent category, priority, those documented to be transfusion transmitted, and those in which an arthropod vector is the usual mode of transmission. 

 Consensus opinions about prudent approaches (such as donor deferral periods) are included wherever possible based on facts that are currently inferred or known.  Additionally, the agents are ranked according to theconsensus opinion about their anticipated impact upon blood safety using scientific data and data related to the public perception of the agent. 

Members of AABB receive the journal, including this special supplement, as a member benefit. To purchase a copy of the August 2009 TRANSFUSION supplement, contact Sharon Mathelus at Wiley-Blackwell, smathelu@wiley.com, +1.781.388.8507.  The 240-page supplement costs $23.50 per copy plus shipping and handling. 

TRANSFUSION is the foremost publication in the world for new information regarding transfusion medicine. Written by and for members of AABB and other health-care workers, TRANSFUSION reports on the latest technical advances, discusses opposing viewpoints regarding controversial issues and presents key conference proceedings. In addition to blood banking and transfusion medicine topics, TRANSFUSION presents submissions concerning tissue transplantation and hematopoietic, cellular, and gene therapies. TRANSFUSION is published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of AABB. For more information, please visit www.transfusion.org.

About AABB
Established in 1947, AABB is an international, not-for-profit association dedicated to the advancement of science and the practice of transfusion medicine and related biological therapies. The association is committed to improving health by developing and delivering standards, accreditation and educational programs and services to optimize patient and donor care and safety. AABB membership consists of approximately 1,800 institutions and 8,000 individuals, including physicians, scientists, administrators, medical technologists, nurses, researchers, blood donor recruiters and public relations personnel. Members are located in all 50 states and 80 countries.  For more information, please visit www.aabb.org.



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