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Emerging Infectious Disease Agents and their Potential Threat to Transfusion Safety

The August 2009 issue of TRANSFUSION included a 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, including dengue, chikungunya and H1N1 influenza viruses, Plasmodium and Babesia species and the vCJD prion. 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.

The Supplement’s 68 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 regulatory requirements, but instead serve as a starting point for developing policies.

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 the consensus opinion about their anticipated impact upon blood safety using scientific data and data related to the public perception of the agent.

Also included are tables summarizing the agents by agent category, priority ratings, those documented to be transfusion transmitted, and those in which an arthropod vector is the usual mode of transmission.

The Supplement, including fact sheets is available online to TRANSFUSION subscribers and AABB members at The published Supplement remains the official document of record. Duplication of the Supplement Appendices (tables and original fact sheets) on this site is provided as a convenience. New fact sheets on emerging threats that have not yet been included in a Supplement text, and updates to previously published fact sheets, are also provided. When enough new material has accumulated, the information will be submitted to TRANSFUSION for possible updating of the Supplement. Input can be provided by contacting the TTD writing group at

TRANSFUSION August 2009 Supplement Appendices (as originally published)

Fact Sheets Created or Updated Post Publication of the TRANSFUSION August 2009 Supplement

Pathogen Reduction Systems – Updates to Information Provided in the TRANSFUSION August 2009 Supplement