SARS-CoV-2 RNA from Pre-Symptomatic Donor Plasma Not Infectious in Models


Although there has been no evidence of transfusion-transmitted SARS-CoV-2 resulting in COVID-19 and the U.S. blood supply is extraordinarily safe, researchers from Vitalant, the American Red Cross, New York Blood Center and Bloodworks Northwest set out to assess to what degree SARS-CoV-2 could find its way into the blood supply from pre-symptomatic donors, and what if any impact it could have on patient care.

The study, funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, and Grifols Diagnostic Solutions, Inc. and conducted through the REDS-IV-P program, used blood plasma samples from 2,250 blood donors throughout the U.S. who reported COVID-19 symptoms or diagnosis after donating blood. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected in up to 15% of the samples that were acquired before widespread vaccination. However, susceptible cell lines or mice exposed to the samples remained virus free. These findings suggest blood plasma collected by blood centers from donors with pre-symptomatic COVID-19 continues to be highly unlikely to transmit SARS CoV-2 infection.

Read the full study article published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation