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Vaccines, Blood & Biologics

Public Workshop: Emerging Arboviruses: Evaluating the Threat to Transfusion and Transplantation Safety

December 14 - 15, 2009

Workshop Goals and Objectives

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held a public workshop entitled “Emerging Arboviruses: Evaluating the Threat to Transfusion and Transplantation Safety.”  The purpose of the public workshop was to assess the risk and discuss approaches to minimize the incidence of transmission of arboviruses (arthropod-borne viruses) via transfusion, infusion, implantation or transplantation in the United States (U.S.).  The public workshop featured presentations and roundtable discussions led by experts from academic institutions, government, and industry. 

Arboviruses are a large group of viruses that are spread by certain invertebrate animals, most commonly blood-sucking insects. Arboviruses are found throughout the world, including the U.S.  Arboviruses such as Dengue virus, Japanese Encephalitis virus (JE), tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBE) and West Nile virus (WNV) are becoming increasingly widespread.  Transmission of WNV and Dengue virus through blood transfusion has been well documented.  Transfusion transmission of the Colorado tick fever (CTF) virus, a tick-borne agent present in the U.S., also has been reported.  Other arboviruses, including JE, TBE, and St. Louis Encephalitis are of concern to blood, cell, tissue and organ safety because of the possibility of viremia in asymptomatic human infections.  Dengue outbreaks have recently occurred in Texas, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  Dengue virus, as well as TBE and JE, have the potential to become endemic in certain regions of the U.S.  Therefore, proactive discussions among the HHS Public Health Agencies, including the FDA, National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, academia, industry, blood establishments, cell and tissue establishments, and other stakeholders are necessary to address blood, cell, tissue and organ safety in response to the emerging arboviruses.

The public workshop facilitated a scientific discussion on approaches to reduce the risk of transmission of arboviruses via transfusion, infusion, implantation or transplantation in the U.S. Topics discussed included: 1) biology and pathogenesis of arboviruses; 2) epidemiology and prevention of arbovirus vectors and hosts in the U.S.; 3) laboratory detection and prevention of arbovirus infection in humans; 4) transfusion, infusion, implantation or transplantation transmission of arboviruses in the U.S.; and 5) potential approaches, including donor testing and pathogen inactivation, to reduce the risk of transfusion transmission of arboviruses.


Natcher Conference Center, Main Auditorium
Building 45
National Institutes of Health
8800 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD  20894

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