Hello and welcome to Transfusion News. Today we will be discussing transfusion-transmitted dengue virus infections that occurred during the 2012 outbreak in Brazil. Dengue is now present in over 100 counties. Since 2002, there have been documented transfusion-transmitted infections in Hong Kong, Singapore, Puerto Rico, and Brazil.
Dr. Brian Custer describes his study on transfusion-transmitted dengue infections in Brazil: “We conducted a large, linked blood donor and recipient study with two main objectives. First was to establish the rate of transfusion-transmitted dengue during the season peak epidemic period. Second was to assess symptoms in recipients who received dengue RNA positive blood components compared to recipients of dengue RNA negative components.”
Dr. Custer’s team retrospectively screened over 39,000 blood donations using a transcription -mediated assay for all 4 serotypes of dengue. The study found that 0.5% of donations in Rio and 0.8% of donations in Recife were positive. Forty-two dengue RNA -positive blood components were transfused to 35 recipients. The rate of transfusion-transmission was estimated to be 37.5%, which was significantly higher than the rate of viremia among recipients of uninfected blood. However, a nested case control study of recipients’ hospital charts did not find a significant difference in symptoms or mortality between those who received dengue RNA-positive blood compared to those who did not receive infected blood. Approximately a third of both patients receiving RNA-positive and RNA-negative blood had symptoms related to dengue.
Dr. Custer explains the implications of the study:
“Transfusion-transmission of dengue is occurring, but screening donors to prevent transmission to recipients may have limited value and may not impact the burden of clinically apparent infection in blood recipients.”
Dr. Custer also stresses that the implications of this study may be different in Brazil than in other parts of the world where dengue in not endemic.
We’ll be back with another edition of Transfusion News on July 15. Thanks for joining us.
1. Sabino EC, Loureiro P, Lopes ME, Capuani LL, McClure C, Chowdhury D, Di-Lorenzo-Oliveira C, Oliveira LC, Linnen JM, Lee TH, Goncalez T, Brambilla D, Kleinman S, Busch MP, Custer B. Transfusion-Transmission of dengue virus and associated clinical symptomatology during the 2012 endemic in Brazil. Journal of Infectious Diseases 2015.