While the risk of infectious disease transmission through blood transfusion has been greatly reduced as a result of improved screening methods, transfusion-transmissible infections remain a concern for transplant recipients, especially those receiving multiple transfusions. Although transfusion and transplant recipients are at risk for similar infections, the current reporting requirements for infections transmitted by transfusions and organ transplantation vary greatly and remain distinctly separate with no communication between reporting systems. This article reviews 23 past reports of transfusion-transmitted infections in organ recipients acquired through transfusions. While cytomegalovirus was a major focus of such reports in the 1980s, more recent reports have focused on West Nile virus transmission. Additionally, this article highlights challenges in determining transfusion-transmitted infection risk in transplant recipients related to the current reporting systems.
This article discusses reported cases and associated outcomes of infectious disease transmissions resulting from blood transfusions that affect organ transplant recipients.