U.S. blood supply faces emerging threats

05/25/2010 | Wall Street Journal, The

Aside from being on guard for viruses that can be transmitted through blood transfusions, blood centers in the U.S. also have to worry about emerging threats to the blood supply for which they currently have no screening tests, including a parasitic infection called babesiosis and the Chikungunya virus. Experts said the country needs to have pathogen-reduction technology to limit the threats to the blood supply and are calling on the FDA to consider approving one such technology -- Cerus' Intercept system. The technology can eliminate most viruses and bacteria in the blood, along with possibly harmful white blood cells, one expert said.

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