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Transfusion. 2012 Aug;52(8):1657-66. doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2012.03566.x. Epub 2012 Feb 17.

Dengue viremia in blood donors identified by RNA and detection of dengue transfusion transmission during the 2007 dengue outbreak in Puerto Rico.

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1
Scientific Support Office, American Red Cross, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877, USA. stramers@usa.redcross.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In 2007, a total of 10,508 suspected dengue cases were reported in Puerto Rico. Blood donations were tested for dengue virus (DENV) RNA and recipients of RNA-positive donations traced to assess transfusion transmission.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS:

Blood donation samples from 2007 were maintained in a repository and tested individually for DENV RNA by transcription-mediated amplification (TMA); a subset was further tested by an enhanced TMA (eTMA) assay. TMA-reactive samples were considered confirmed if TMA (including eTMA) was repeat reactive (RR). All TMA-RR samples were tested by quantitative, DENV type-specific reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and for anti-DENV immunoglobulin (Ig)M by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Samples positive by RT-PCR were further tested for infectivity in mosquito cell culture. Patients receiving components from TMA-RR donations were followed.

RESULTS:

Of 15,350 donation samples tested, 29 were TMA-RR for a prevalence of 1 per 529 (0.19%). DENV Types 1, 2, and 3 with viral titers of 10(5) to 10(9) copies/mL were detected by RT-PCR in 12 samples of which all were infectious in mosquito culture. Six TMA-RR samples were IgM positive. Three of the 29 recipients receiving TMA-RR donations were tested. One recipient in Puerto Rico transfused with red blood cells containing 10(8) copies/mL DENV-2 became febrile 3 days posttransfusion and developed dengue hemorrhagic fever. The recipient was DENV-2 RNA positive by RT-PCR; both the donor and the recipient viruses had identical envelope sequences.

CONCLUSIONS:

High rates of viremia were detected in blood donors in Puerto Rico coupled with the first documented transfusion transmission of severe dengue disease, suggesting that further research on interventions is needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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