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Emerging infections in transfusion medicine.

  • Author(s): Fiebig, Eberhard W;
  • Busch, Michael P
  • et al.

The risk of transfusion-transmitted infectious diseases (TTIDs) has declined dramatically in high-income nations over the past 2 decades, primarily because of extraordinary success in preventing HIV and other established transfusion-transmitted viruses from entering the blood supply. Despite this achievement, TTIDs remain a public health concern, and attention is refocusing on new and emerging pathogens, such as West Nile virus, infectious proteins (the presumed cause of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease), and other transmissible organisms such as bacteria and parasites. In this article the authors concentrate on this heterogeneous group of infectious agents, describe individual pathogens and the risks they pose to transfusion recipients, and comment on existing and evolving procedures that are designed to protect the blood supply from this threat.

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