Transfusion-transmitted arboviruses


Lyle R. Petersen, CDC, 3150 Rampart Road, Fort Collins, Colorado 80521, USA


There exists considerable risk for transfusion transmission of arboviruses due to short periods of asymptomatic viraemia in populations with variable and sometimes extremely high incidence of arboviral infections. Aside from West Nile virus, few arbovirus transfusion transmissions have been proven, mostly due to difficulties in ruling out vector-borne transmission in recipients with arbovirus disease. Nevertheless, arbovirus transfusion risk models and assessments of viraemia prevalence in blood donations indicate substantial transfusion transmission of dengue and Chikungunya viruses in epidemic areas. Many other arboviruses, several of which are importation risks in the Americas, Europe and Asia, also cause large outbreaks and threaten transfusion safety. Prevention largely depends on excluding donors from outbreak areas or implementation of highly sensitive nucleic acid amplification tests. Because of the increasing emergence of arboviral disease globally, it is prudent to prepare for both endemic and exotic arboviruses capable of producing large epidemics and subsequent transfusion transmission risk.