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Transfusion. 2017 Sep;57(9):2174-2181. doi: 10.1111/trf.14202. Epub 2017 Jun 26.

Residual risk of bacterial contamination of platelets: six years of experience with sterility testing.

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1
Canadian Blood Services, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Canadian Blood Services screens 100% of platelet concentrates (PCs) for bacterial contamination with the BacT/ALERT system. Quality-control sterility testing of 1% (≥10 units) of outdated PCs is performed monthly. Data from routine screening, quality-control testing, and septic reactions obtained from 2010 to 2016 are presented herein.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS:

In total, 601,988 buffy coat PC pools and 186,737 apheresis PCs were routinely screened with aerobic cultures over 6 years. Outdate quality-control testing of 8535 buffy coat and 8498 apheresis PCs was performed using aerobic and anaerobic cultures during the same period. Results were classified as "true-positives" when the same bacterium was isolated in initial and confirmatory cultures or "false-negatives" when bacteria were missed in early screening and were captured during quality-control sterility testing or through investigation of sepsis cases.

RESULTS:

During routine screening, the true-positive rates between buffy coat (0.94 per 10,000) and apheresis (0.96 per 10,000) PCs were similar (p = 0.9473). Seventy-five bacteria isolated during PC screening included Gram-positive and Gram-negative organisms. Six false-negative septic reactions were reported that implicated coagulase-negative staphylococci (n = 3) and Staphylococcus aureus (n = 3) for approximate rates of 1 per 100,000 transfusion reactions and 1 per 500,000 fatalities. During quality-control testing, the false-negative rates between buffy coat (8 per 10,000) and apheresis (9 per 10,000) PCs were similar (p = 0.7897). All 15 quality-control isolates were Gram-positive bacteria.

CONCLUSION:

The current bacterial screening protocol is efficacious for identifying Gram-negative bacteria. However, the high proportion of Gram-positive organisms detected on outdate quality-control testing and septic transfusion events demonstrates a residual safety risk that merits further intervention.

PMID:
28653472
DOI:
10.1111/trf.14202
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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