What is new about this topic: We will identify and discuss some emerging and under-studied pathogens and their potential impacts on transfusion medicine and blood banking. We will look at factors that might help blood operators move on from a decreasing threat.
Background: Emerging pathogens are infectious diseases which newly appear in a population or previously existed but now have an increased incidence or wider geographic range. As climate change continues and vector distributions change, blood operators will need to respond to changing risks of infections in donor populations. In other scenarios, new agents may arise and expand and then regress or “submerge” to the point that they have reduced relevance. Agents of interest could include Eastern Equine Encephalitis, underappreciated species of Babesia or filarial worms and Zika virus. In this changing landscape, blood operators need to become more agile as threats change and new ones emerge. This agility will enable blood operators to; identify and estimate the risks of these agents to the blood supply; reallocate resources to new risks and avoid unnecessary donor deferrals.
Purpose: This session will; 1) pose key questions about participants views of emerging pathogens and their risks to the blood supply, 2) Identify known information about some potentially new threats, 3) compare risk mitigation strategies and decision-making approaches that could be applied to each of the identified agents, 5) engage participants on their concerns about the different emerging and “submerging” pathogens.
Moderator Dr. Steven J Drews - short introduction of issues/problem, introduction of key session questions
Dr. Steven J Drews - “The changing epidemiology of arthropod-borne viruses in North America: are these agents a threat to the blood supply?”
Dr. Evan Bloch - Associate Professor, Associate Director, Transfusion Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Pathology- “Vectors, protists and worms: What are the new threats to blood operators globally and how do they still impact North America?”
Dr. Silvano Wendel – Diretor Médico, Banco de Sangue Medical Director, Blood Bank, Hospital Sirio Libanês, São Paulo, Brasil - “Zika virus risks to the blood supply in the Americas- Is this a submerging risk and can some operators move on?”
Describe known information about at least one potentially new infectious diseases threats to the blood supply and information about at least one infectious disease threat to the blood supply that may be waning.
Debate risk mitigation strategies and decision-making approaches that could be applied to each of the identified emerging or submerging agents that participants learned about.
Propose appropriate approaches to respond to these or other relevant emerging/submerging infectious diseases threats to the blood supply in their geographic region.
Associate Professor; Associate Director, Transfusion Medicine,
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine