Risk of Transfusion-Transmitted Infection: A Comparative Analysis of Then and Now

  • H. J. Alter
Part of the Developments in Hematology and Immunology book series (DIHI, volume 34)


The past 15 years have witnessed remarkable advances in the prevention of transfusion-transmitted infections including the sequential introduction of donor screening assays for HIV and HCV, the advent of solvent detergent and other technologies for the sterilisation of plasma, intensified and more uniform donor questionnaires, increased FDA oversight and the demanding dictates of “Good Manufacturing Practices and most recently, the introduction of genomic amplification techniques (GAT) to narrow the infectious window for the most serious blood-transmitted viruses. To place these advances into perspective, prior to HIV testing in the spring of 1985, 8038 cases of transfusion-transmitted AIDS were reported in adults and 374 in children. In the 14 years since the first anti-HIV assays became available, there have been only 37 cases of transfusion-associated AIDS reported in adults and 2 in children; most of these cases occurred during the first generation of HIV assays and transmission is now an exceedingly rare event estimated to occur at a frequency of one case per 676,000 transfusions.


Fulminant Hepatitis Representational Difference Analysis Posttransfusion Hepatitis Eclipse Phase Cryptogenic Chronic Liver Disease 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. J. Alter
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Transfusion Medicine, Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical CenterNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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