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PLoS neglected tropical diseases

Distribution of Dengue Virus Types 1 and 4 in Blood Components from Infected Blood Donors from Puerto Rico.


PMID 26871560

Abstract

Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral disease caused by the four dengue viruses (DENV-1 to 4) that can also be transmitted by blood transfusion and organ transplantation. The distribution of DENV in the components of blood from infected donors is poorly understood. We used an in-house TaqMan qRT-PCR assay to test residual samples of plasma, cellular components of whole blood (CCWB), serum and clot specimens from the same collection from blood donors who were DENV-RNA-reactive in a parallel blood safety study. To assess whether DENV RNA detected by TaqMan was associated with infectious virus, DENV infectivity in available samples was determined by culture in mosquito cells. DENV RNA was detected by TaqMan in all tested blood components, albeit more consistently in the cellular components; 78.8% of CCWB, 73.3% of clots, 86.7% of sera and 41.8% of plasma samples. DENV-1 was detected in 48 plasma and 97 CCWB samples while DENV-4 was detected in 21 plasma and 31 CCWB samples. In mosquito cell cultures, 29/111 (26.1%) plasma and 32/97 (32.7%) CCWB samples were infectious. A subset of samples from 29 donors was separately analyzed to compare DENV viral loads in the available blood components. DENV viral loads did not differ significantly between components and ranged from 3-8 log10 PCR-detectable units/ml. DENV was present in all tested components from most donors, and viral RNA was not preferentially distributed in any of the tested components. Infectious DENV was also present in similar proportions in cultured plasma, clot and CCWB samples, indicating that these components may serve as a resource when sample sizes are limited. However, these results suggest that the sensitivity of the nucleic acid tests (NAT) for these viruses would not be improved by testing whole blood or components other than plasma.

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