Transfusion medicine
Transfusion transmitted disease

Topic Completed: 1 October 2011

Revised: 8 April 2019

Copyright: 2002-2019,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Syphilis blood transfusion [title]

Huy Phu Pham, M.D., M.P.H.
Page views in 2018: 48
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Table of Contents
Definition / general
Cite this page: Pham HP Syphilis. website. Accessed June 25th, 2019.
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
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