Transfusion medicine
Transfusion transmitted disease

Author: Huy Phu Pham, M.D. (see Authors page)

Revised: 2 November 2017, last major update October 2011

Copyright: (c) 2002-2017,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Syphilis blood transfusion [title]

Table of Contents
Definition / general
Cite this page: Pham, H.P. Syphilis. website. Accessed March 23rd, 2018.
Definition / general
  • No cases of transfusion transmitted syphilis in U.S. since 1966
  • Detected by serologic testing although blood with positive test in U.S. is unlikely to be infectious (Transfusion 2002;42:94)
  • 1,200 cases detected in U.S. donors during 1995 - 2000 (J Infect Dis 2002;185:545)
  • Test may contribute little to transfusion safety (NIH Consens Statement 1995;13:1), although some consider it a marker (although nonspecific) for high risk behavior associated with other sexually transmitted diseases

Donor positive rates:
  • Can be transmitted by blood transfusion; refrigeration kills most (but not all) spirochetes within 1 - 2 days but platelets are stored at room temperature and some red cells are transfused immediately without refrigeration