Pathogen inactivation for safer blood transfusion: What are the limitations?

What is this research about?

Despite many safety improvements, blood transfusion still has some risks. These include the risk of illness if blood is contaminated with microorganisms called ‘pathogens’ such as viruses and bacteria that cause disease. Many approaches are used to reduce or prevent pathogen contamination in the blood supply. For example, donors are screened and blood donations are tested. However, testing only works for known pathogens. Unknown pathogens that cannot be tested for, called ‘emerging’ pathogens, are a risk to the blood system. This and other issues including the sensitivity limits of pathogen testing means there is a need for alternative ways to improve blood safety.

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