Pathogen-reduction systems for blood components: The current position and future trends
The current multi-layered interventional approaches to blood safety have dramatically reduced the risk of viral contamination of blood components. Nowadays most of the residual transfusion transmitted infections (TTI) occur as the result of the interval between the time the donor is infected and the moment at which tests are capable of detecting the agent, the so called “window period” which has been considerably reduced by the increased sensitivity of nucleic acid testing (NAT). However, the residual risk of bacterial contamination and the unexpected appearance of some other emerging pathogens, almost every five years, are still of major concern to the public, politicians, regulatory agencies and place immense pressures on the organisations responsible for the provision of safe blood and its components. In view of these bleak scenarios, the use of human blood as a raw biological source is inherently unsafe, and screening/testing alone cannot exclude all the potential human pathogens; hence we need to put in place some sort of safer alternatives and/or additional preventative safety measures.
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