The impact of donor cytomegalovirus DNA on transfusion strategies for at-risk patients

Malte Ziemann*, David Juhl, Siegfried Görg, Holger Hennig

*Corresponding author for this work
18 Citations (Scopus)


Background Cytomegalovirus (CMV) DNA is frequently detected in plasma of newly seropositive donors. Selection of leukoreduced blood products from donors with remote CMV infection could avoid transfusion-transmitted CMV infections (TT-CMV) due to primarily infected donors. However, there are no data about the prevalence of reactivations in long-term seropositive donors compared to the incidence of window period donations in seronegative donors. Therefore, the optimal transfusion strategy for at-risk patients is unclear. Study Design and Methods Whole blood samples from 22,904 donations were tested for CMV DNA, and CMV DNA-positive donations were categorized as donations from 1) seronegative donors, 2) newly seropositive donors, and 3) long-term seropositive donors. Results Twenty-one donors were reproducibly CMV DNA-positive (0.09%). Frequency of detection and concentration of CMV DNA in whole blood were comparable for seronegative and long-term seropositive donors. Nonreproducibly positive results for CMV DNA in whole blood were more frequent in long-term seropositive donors (0.16% vs. 0.01%, p < 0.01). Only low concentrations of CMV DNA in plasma were detectable in two seronegative donors and one long-term seropositive donor. Highest concentrations of CMV DNA in both whole blood and plasma, however, were found in newly seropositive donors. Conclusion Prevalences of window period donations among seronegative donors and reactivations among long-term seropositive donors, as well as the CMV DNA concentration in whole blood and plasma samples from these donors, are comparable. Therefore, blood products from both groups could be used for patients at risk for TT-CMV, while those of newly seropositive donors seem to bear an increased risk.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)2183-2189
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 01.10.2013


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