Window-period human immunodeficiency virus transmission to two recipients by an adolescent blood donor

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Pooled NAT and donor screening have reduced the diagnostic window period for HIV in the blood donor population to approximately 10 to 15 days. This report describes two cases of transfusion-acquired HIV infection and verification of transmission from the donor to the recipients, and attempts to identify how the 18-year-old donor acquired her infection.


After a repeat donor had a positive HIV test result, two recipients of the donor's previous donation were identified and tested. The donor and recipients were interviewed and blood samples were obtained for HIV DNA sequencing and phylogenetic analysis.


The two recipients had positive HIV test results. Phylogenetic analysis showed a high genetic similarity among the viruses (bootstrap 100%), consistent with transmission from the donor to the recipients. Four of five men with whom the donor had sexual contact during the critical time period when infection most likely occurred were located and tested; results were negative for HIV.


Pooled NAT of blood donations has not eliminated the window period for HIV identification during seroconversion.

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