Pathogen reduction and blood transfusion safety in Africa: strengths, limitations and challenges of implementation in low-resource settings. Vox Sang. 2017 Nov 30;: Authors: Ware AD, Jacquot C, Tobian AAR, Gehrie EA, Ness PM, Bloch EM Abstract Transfusion-transmitted infection risk remains an enduring challenge to blood safety in Africa. A high background incidence and prevalence of the major transfusion-transmitted infections (TTIs), dependence on high-risk donors to meet demand, suboptimal testing and quality assurance collectively contribute to the increased risk. With few exceptions, donor testing is confined to serological evaluation of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B and C (HBV and HCV) and syphilis. Barriers to implementation of broader molecular methods include cost, limited infrastructure and lack of technical expertise. Pathogen reduction (PR), a term used to describe a variety of methods (e.g. solvent detergent treatment or photochemical activation) that may be applied to blood following collection, offers the means to diminish the infectious potential of multiple pathogens simultaneously. This is effective against different classes of pathogen, including the major TTIs where laboratory screening is already implemented (e.g. HIV, HBV and HCV) as well pathogens that are widely endemic yet remain unaddressed (e.g. malaria, bacterial contamination). We sought to review the available and emerging PR techniques and their potential application to resource-constrained parts of Africa, focusing on the advantages and disadvantages of such technologies. PR has been slow to be adopted even in high-income countries, primarily given the high costs of use. Logistical considerations, particularly in low-resourced parts of Africa, also raise concerns about practicality. Nonetheless, PR offers a rational, innovative strategy to contend with TTIs; technologies in development may well present a viable complement or even alternative to targeted screening in the future. PMID: 29193128 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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Pathogen reduction and blood transfusion safety in Africa: strengths, limitations and challenges of implementation in low-resource settings.