English Polski
Vol 6, No 3 (2013)
Review paper
Published online: 2013-10-11

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West Nile Virus as a threat to transfusion safety

Katarzyna Tkaczuk, Elżbieta L achert, Ewa Sulkowska, Ryszard Pogłód, Magdalena Łętowska, Piotr Grabarczyk
Journal of Transfusion Medicine 2013;6(3):69-84.


In the twenty-first century the West Nile Virus (WNV) has become the focus of attention as
result of its expansion on all continents associated with its great adaptability. This pathogen
has been known for 75 years but has recently been observed to have significant impact on
ecosystems and human economy. It has therefore become a serious threat to public health.
The paper is a review of the epidemiological condition in light of current knowledge on the
environmental spread of WNV and particularly on the transmission to humans. We present
the course of WNV infection and the review of diagnostic methods which are crucial for proper
identification of infected people (both patients and asymptomatic donors of blood and tissues).
The major preventive measures have been discussed including restrictive criteria of donor selection,
methods of identifying infected persons, effective inactivation methods and availability
of effective vaccines.

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