Transfusion of platelet components prepared with photochemical pathogen inactivation treatment during a Chikungunya virus epidemic in Ile de La Réunion

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During the Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) epidemic on Ile de La Réunion, France, more than 30% of 750,000 inhabitants were infected. Local blood donation was suspended to prevent transfusion-transmitted infection (TT-CHIKV). To sustain the availability of platelet (PLT) components, the Établissement Français du Sang implemented universal pathogen inactivation (INTERCEPT, Cerus Europe BV) of PLT components (CPAs). The study assessed the safety of PLT components treated with pathogen inactivation transfused in routine clinical practice.


This was a retrospective observational study using patient medical records and the AFSSAPS hemovigilance database (eFIT) to identify TT-CHIKV and adverse events (AEs) classified as acute transfusion reactions (ATRs) to PLT components prepared with pathogen inactivation.


During 1 year, 1950 INTERCEPT-CPAs were transfused to 335 adult, 51 pediatric, and 41 infant patients. Nineteen AEs were observed in 15 patients and 10 were classified as ATRs. Eight ATRs occurred in 6 pediatric hematology-oncology patients. No ATRs were observed in infants. The most frequently reported signs and symptoms were Grade 1 urticaria, itching, chills, fever, and anxiety. No cases of transfusion-related acute lung injury, TT-sepsis, or TT-CHIKV were detected.


INTERCEPT-CPAs were well tolerated in a broad range of patients, including infants. ATR incidence was low and when present ATRs were of mild severity.

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