Cynthia S Collins

Gen-Probe, San Diego, California, United States

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Publications (4)15.91 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: There have been anecdotal reports of influenza viremia since the 1960s. We present an assessment of the prevalence of seasonal and 2009 H1N1 influenza viremia (via RNA testing) in blood donor populations using multiple sensitive detection assays. Several influenza RNA amplification assays, including transcription-mediated amplification (TMA) and 2 reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays, were evaluated and used to test donor samples. Retrospective samples from 478 subjects drawn at sites with high influenza activity were tested. Prospective samples were collected from 1004 blood donors who called their donation center within 3 days of donation complaining of influenza-like illness (ILI). The plasma collected on the day of donation for these subjects was tested. Of the repository samples, 2 of 478 plasma samples were initially reactive but not repeat reactive by influenza TMA. Of blood donors reporting ILI symptoms postdonation, 1 of 1004 samples was TMA initially reactive but not repeat reactive; all samples were nonreactive by RT-PCR testing. Targeting blood donor populations most likely to have influenza infection, we failed to detect influenza RNA in 1482 donor samples, with most tested by 3 different RNA assays. Seasonal influenza does not appear to pose a significant contamination threat to the blood supply.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 03/2012; 205(6):886-94. · 5.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dengue virus (DENV) is a major cause of febrile illness and hemorrhagic fever in tropical and subtropical regions. Typically, patients presenting with acute dengue disease are viremic but may not have yet developed detectable titers of antibody. Therefore, early diagnosis depends mostly on detection of viral components, such as the RNA. To define the potential use of transcription-mediated amplification (TMA) DENV RNA as a diagnostic tool, we first compared its analytic sensitivity using a routine real-time reverse transcription (RT)-PCR and found that TMA is approximately 10 to 100 times more sensitive. In addition, we tested acute-phase serum samples (<5 days post-symptom onset) submitted as part of laboratory-based surveillance in Puerto Rico and determined that among patients with serologically confirmed dengue infection, TMA detected DENV RNA in almost 80% of serum specimens that were negative by the RT-PCR test used for diagnosis and in all specimens with positive RT-PCR results. We conclude that TMA is a highly sensitive method which can detect DENV RNA in approximately 89% of clinical, acute-phase serum specimens.
    Journal of clinical microbiology 02/2009; 47(4):927-31. · 4.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dengue fever and hemorrhagic disease are caused by four dengue virus (DENV) serotypes (DENV-1 to -4), mosquito-borne flaviviruses with increasing incidence, and expanding global distributions. Documented transfusion transmission of West Nile virus raised concern regarding transfusion-transmitted DENV. A DENV RNA assay was developed based on transcription-mediated amplification (TMA) blood screening assays routinely used by blood centers worldwide. Sensitivity was established by endpoint dilution analyses of DENV-1 RNA transcript and pedigreed tissue culture standards for all four DENV-serotypes. Frozen plasma samples were tested from 2994 donations from Honduras (September 2004-January 2005), 4858 donations from Brazil (February-April 2003), and 5879 donations from Australia (March-September 2003). Type-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays were used to quantify and genotype TMA repeat-reactive samples; viral cultures, type-specific antibody, and antigen assays were also performed. The TMA assay detected 14.9 copies per mL DENV-1 transcript (95% detection limit), with comparable sensitivity for all four serotypes. Honduran donors yielded 9 TMA repeat-reactive samples (0.30%); 8 were confirmed by PCR, with 3 DENV serotypes detected and viral loads from fewer than 3 x 10(4) to 4.2 x 10(4) copies per mL; and 4 samples yielded infectious virus. Three (0.06%) Brazilian samples tested repeat-reactive; 2 (0.04%) were PCR-positive (serotypes DENV-1 and -3; 12 and 294 copies/mL). No Australian donor samples tested repeat-reactive. Dengue viremia rates among asymptomatic blood donors ranged from 0.30 percent in Honduras to 0.04 percent in Brazil. Future studies are needed to establish rates of transfusion transmission by viremic donations and clinical consequences in recipients.
    Transfusion 06/2008; 48(7):1355-62. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The PROCLEIX West Nile virus assay (WNV assay) is a qualitative nucleic acid test based on transcription-mediated amplification (TMA). The assay was used under an investigational protocol in the United States to screen blood donations for West Nile virus (WNV) RNA starting in the summer of 2003, and was licensed by the FDA in December 2005 for use on the PROCLEIX System, also known as the enhanced semi-automated system (eSAS). Performance characteristics for the assay were determined on both eSAS and the fully automated PROCLEIX TIGRIS (TIGRIS) System. Detection of both lineage 1 and lineage 2 WNV was demonstrated on both systems. For lineage 1, the 95% detection limit was 8.2 copies/ml for eSAS and 9.8 copies/ml for the TIGRIS system. For lineage 2, > or =95% detection was seen at > or =30 copies/ml on both systems. The overall specificity of the assay was >99.9% in fresh and frozen plasma specimens. Reproducibility studies on the TIGRIS system yielded > or =99.1% agreement with expected results for the 3-member panel tested (0, 30, and 100 copies/ml). The WNV assay exhibited robust performance in cadaveric specimens and specimens representing various donor and donation conditions, including specimens from different plasma collection tubes that were subjected to multiple freeze/thaw cycles; specimens with elevated levels of endogenous substances; specimens containing other viruses and microorganisms; and specimens from patients with autoimmune and other diseases. Overall, these studies demonstrate high sensitivity, specificity, and reproducibility of the WNV assay on both the semi-automated and automated systems.
    Journal of Medical Virology 09/2007; 79(9):1422-30. · 2.37 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

85 Citations
15.91 Total Impact Points


  • 2012
    • Gen-Probe
      San Diego, California, United States
  • 2007
    • California College San Diego
      San Diego, California, United States