‘XMRV does not pose a risk to blood supply’, Transfusion, 21 November 2011

From ‘Transfusion’, the journal of the American Association of Blood Banks, 21 November 2011, doi: 10.1111/j.1537-2995.2011.03450.x. [Epub ahead of print]

Xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus does not pose a risk to blood recipient safety

Dodd RY, Hackett Jr J, Linnen JM, Dorsey K, Wu Y, Zou S, Qiu X, Swanson P, Schochetman G, Gao K, Carrick JM, Krysztof DE, Stramer SL.

From the American Red Cross Holland Laboratory, Rockville, Maryland; Abbott Diagnostics, Abbott Park, Illinois; Gen-Probe, Inc., San Diego, California; the Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut; and the American Red Cross Scientific Support Office, Gaithersburg, Maryland.



When xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) was first reported in association with chronic fatigue syndrome, it was suggested that it might offer a risk to blood safety. Thus, the prevalence of the virus among blood donors and, if present, its transmissibility by transfusion need to be defined.


Two populations of routine blood donor samples (1435 and 13,399) were obtained for prevalence evaluations; samples from a linked donor-recipient repository were also evaluated. Samples were tested for the presence of antibodies to XMRV-related recombinant antigens and/or for XMRV RNA, using validated, high-throughput systems.


The presence of antibodies to XMRV could not be confirmed among a total of 17,249 blood donors or recipients (0%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0%-0.017%); 1763 tested samples were nonreactive for XMRV RNA (0%; 95% CI, 0%-0.17%). Evidence of infection was absent from 109 recipients and 830 evaluable blood samples tested after transfusion of a total of 3741 blood components.


XMRV and related murine leukemia virus (MLV) markers are not present among a large population of blood donors and evidence of transfusion transmission could not be detected. Thus, these viruses do not currently pose a threat to blood recipient safety and further actions relating to XMRV and MLV are not justified.

© 2011 American Association of Blood Banks.

PMID: 22098340 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]


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