Chikungunya virus and risk to transfusion

How to cite this article:
Joob B, Wiwanitkit V. Chikungunya virus and risk to transfusion. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2015;8:43-4


How to cite this URL:
Joob B, Wiwanitkit V. Chikungunya virus and risk to transfusion. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2015 [cited 2020 Aug 10];8:43-4. Available from:

Dear Sir,

The topic “Chikungunya virus and risk to transfusion” is very interesting. [1] It is no doubt that chikungunya virus can be transmitted via blood transfusion. [2] In the past, chikungunya virus infection was prevalent but confined to the tropical zone. However, the present trend shows the movement of the virus into the Western Hemisphere. [3] Nevertheless, the important concern is whether there is a risk of blood transfusion-associated chikungunya fever and the places where it is necessary to implement blood screening for chikungunya virus. Based on the recent report from Thailand, an endemic region for chikungunya virus, it is concluded that donor screening can be useful during an epidemic. [4] However, this report cannot imply its usefulness in the normal nonepidemic situation. In fact, the patients with chikungunya virus infection usually have acute febrile illness and this can be easily excluded from blood donation. Appassakij et al. reported that the problem of asymptomatic chikungunya could be seen and it should be focused on since the viremia can be determined in the blood of the cases with asymptomatic chikungunya. [5] Nevertheless, it is not proved whether the detected viremia further causes the infection in the blood of the recipient or not. Also, if the level of viremia in asymptomatic chikungunya infection causes no problem, it should cause no problem to the recipient. It seems that screening is not the answer to the problem. In endemic areas such as Southeast Asia, there is still no routine screening for chikungunya virus in blood banks. The use of pathogen reduction technology, which covers chikungunya virus, can manage the problem cost-effectively. [6]



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Leydold SM, Farcet MR, Kindermann J, Modrof J, Pölsler G, Berting A, et al. Chikungunya virus and the safety of plasma products. Transfusion 2012;52:2122-30.
Nasci RS. Movement of chikungunya virus into the Western hemisphere. Emerg Infect Dis 2014;20:1394-5.
Appassakij H, Promwong C, Rujirojindakul P, Wutthanarungsan R, Silpapojakul K. The risk of blood transfusion-associated Chikungunya fever during the 2009 epidemic in Songkhla Province, Thailand. Transfusion 2014;54:1945-52.
Appassakij H, Khuntikij P, Kemapunmanus M, Wutthanarungsan R, Silpapojakul K. Viremic profiles in asymptomatic and symptomatic chikungunya fever: A blood transfusion threat? Transfusion 2013;53:2567-74.
Custer B, Agapova M, Martinez RH. The cost-effectiveness of pathogen reduction technology as assessed using a multiple risk reduction model. Transfusion 2010;50:2461-73.

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.157299

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