Drivers of blood safety
The safety of fresh frozen plasma (FFP) in developed countries has improved significantly over the past two decades due to stringent donor selection criteria and improved screening tests. In certain countries, safety is further enhanced by leucodepletion and pathogen inactivation.
The greatest concern driving the development of pathogen reduction technologies is the prevention of blood supply contamination by new pathogens or new strains of known pathogens for which no tests currently exist. Additionally the accumulation of separate measures such as bacterial screening + viral testing + NAT + gamma irradiation increases the overall cost of blood components.
Pathogen inactivation raises the safety margin by inactivating pathogens that have gone undetected during screening due to seroconversion window periods or false results (negative or positive test).
Ultimately, pathogen inactivation provides a proactive approach, inactivating emerging pathogens before they enter the blood supply chain and before screening tests have been developed and implemented1.
2/ H.G. Klein et al. Pathogen inactivation: making decisions about new technologies. Transfusion 2007;47/2338-2347