Transfusion Transmissible Infections

Example of Recent Work:
The Retrovirus Epidemiology Donor Study (REDS-II) funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute included a large study to assess contemporary or current behavioral and demographic factors associated with HIV, HCV, HBV, and HTLV infections in US donors. Blood Systems, New York Blood Center, OneBlood and the American Red Cross participated (Reference 1). A key aspect of this study was the inclusion of donors who did not have infections and thus served as controls for those donors with confirmed viral infections. In addition, in the Blood Donation Rules Opinion (Blood DROPS) conducted as part of the Recipient Epidemiology and Donor Evaluation Study (REDS-III), we estimated the proportion of male donors who didn’t comply with disclosure of history of men having sex with other men (MSM) at the time of donation (Reference 2 and 3). The results of these studies were integral to the Food and Drug Administration decision to modify the permanent deferral for MSM to a 12-month deferral since last sexual contact. As of late 2016, the change to a 12-month deferral was adopted by the majority of blood collectors in the country. As part of TTIMS (Reference 4) we have continued to evaluate evidence of change to blood supply safety following the 12-month deferral, and have seen no evidence for a change in safety of the US blood supply. We are also leading new initiatives to gather evidence for possible paths to allow more MSM to donate blood.

Selected Publications:

Custer B, Kessler D, Vahidnia F, Leparc G, Krysztof DE, Shaz B, Kamel H, Glynn S, Dodd RY, Stramer SL; NHLBI Retrovirus Epidemiology Donor Study-II (REDS-II). Risk factors for retrovirus and hepatitis virus infections in accepted blood donors. Transfusion. 2014 Dec 4. doi: 10.1111/trf PMID: 25470984

Custer B, Sheon N, Siedle-Khan B, Pollack L, Spencer B, Bialkowski W, D'Andrea P, Sullivan M, Glynn S, Williams A; NHLBI Recipient Epidemiology and Donor Evaluation Study-III (REDS-III). Blood donor deferral for men who have sex with men: the Blood Donation Rules Opinion Study (Blood DROPS). Transfusion. 2015 Dec;55(12):2826-34. doi: 10.1111/trf.13247.

Hughes S, Sheon N, Siedle-Khan B, Custer B. Saving lives, maintaining safety, and science-based policy: qualitative interview findings from the Blood Donation Rules Opinion Study (Blood DROPS). Transfusion. 2015 Dec;55(12):2835-2841. doi: 10.1111/trf.13268.

Custer B, Stramer SL, Glynn S, Williams AE, Anderson SA. Transfusion-transmissible infection monitoring system: a tool to monitor changes in blood safety. Transfusion. 2016 Jun;56(6 Pt 2):1499-502. doi: 10.1111/trf.13632. PMID: 27295025