Spore-forming organisms in platelet concentrates: a challenge in transfusion bacterial safety

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Bacterial detection and pathogen reduction are widely used methods of minimizing the risk of transfusion-transmitted bacterial infection. But, bacterial spores are highly resistant to chemical and physical agents. In this study, we assessed the bacterial proliferation of spore-forming organisms seeded into platelet concentrates (PCs) to demonstrate that spores can enter the vegetative state in PCs during storage. In the in vitro study, PCs were inoculated with 1–10 spores mL−1 of Bacillus cereus(n= 1), Bacillus subtilis(n= 2) and Clostridium sporogenes(n= 2). Sampling was performed during 6-day aerobic storage at 22 °C. The presence of bacteria was assessed by plating culture, automated culture and real-time reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Spores of the C. sporogenes do not enter the vegetative phase under PC storage conditions, whereas B. subtilis and B. cereus showed growth in the PC and could be detected using RT-PCR and automated culture. Depending on the species and inoculums, bacterial spores may enter the vegetative phase during PC storage and can be detected by bacterial detection methods.

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