Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that is the focus of an ongoing pandemic. ZIKV is notable for its severe neurologic sequelae in babies born to infected mothers. High rates of subclinical infection, as evidenced by the finding of ZIKV RNA in asymptomatic donors, raise concerns of risk to the blood supply. To date, a total of four suspected cases of transfusion-transmitted ZIKV have been reported (all in Brazil), none of which were associated with clinical infection in the transfusion recipients.
In 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a guidance mandating national blood donor screening for ZIKV in the United States. Five days after implementation of donor screening at our facility, we encountered a ZIKV-positive donor. We provide a practical approach to donor, recipient, and blood product management in the setting of a positive donor ZIKV result. Such has been informed by the challenges we faced in the workup of a ZIKV-reactive donation and recipient lookback.
Transfusion. 2017 Sep;57(9):2077-2083.
How do we manage blood donors and recipients after a positive Zika screening result?
Jimenez A, Shaz BH, Kessler D, Bloch EM.