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SARS-CoV-2 RNAemia infrequent in blood donors

Nucleic acid testing of donor plasma minipools (MPs) indicates that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNAemia is infrequent, according to a study published online May 27 in Transfusion.

Sonia Bakkour, Ph.D., where to buy cheap medrol usa without prescription from the Vitalant Research Institute in San Francisco, and colleagues tested blood donations collected from March 7 to Sept. 25, 2020, for SARS-CoV-2 RNA (vRNA) in donor plasma MPs of six or 16 donations. To estimate viral load, reactive MPs were tested by transcription-mediated amplification after serial dilution.

Overall, 17,995 MPs corresponding to about 258,000 donations were tested for vRNA. The researchers identified three confirmed reactive MP16s, for an estimated prevalence of 1.16/100,000 vRNA reactive donations. The vRNA-reactive samples were not reactive for antibody; within each MP, the estimated viral loads of the (presumed single) positive donations ranged from <1,000 to <4,000 copies/mL. No infectivity was seen in inoculated permissive cell cultures when tested.

“Other studies have shown that in rare cases where a blood sample tested positive, transmission by blood transfusion has not occurred,” Bakkour said in a statement. “Therefore, it appears safe to receive blood as a transfusion recipient and to keep donating blood, without fear of transmitting COVID-19 as long as current screenings are used.”

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