The RADAR repository: a resource for studies of infectious agents and their transmissibility by transfusion
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BACKGROUND: An ongoing issue in transfusion medicine is whether newly identified or emerging pathogens can be transmitted by transfusion. One method to study this question is through the use of a contemporary linked donor-recipient repository. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: The Retrovirus Epidemiology Donor Study Allogeneic Donor and Recipient (RADAR) repository was established between 2000 and 2003 by seven blood centers and eight collaborating hospitals. Specimens from consented donors were collected, components from their donations were routed to participating hospitals, and recipients of these units gave enrollment and follow-up specimens for long-term storage. The repository was designed to show that zero transmissions to enrolled recipients would indicate with 95 percent confidence that the transfusion transmission rate of an agent with prevalence of 0.05 to 1 percent was lower than 25 percent. RESULTS: The repository contains pre- and posttransfusion specimens from 3,575 cardiac, vascular, and orthopedic surgery patients, linked to 13,201 donation specimens. The mean number of RADAR donation exposures per recipient is 3.85. The distribution of components transfused is 77 percent red cells, 13 percent whole blood-derived platelet concentrates, and 10 percent fresh frozen plasma. A supplementary unlinked donation repository containing 99,906 specimens from 84,339 donors was also established and can be used to evaluate the prevalence of an agent and validate assay(s) performance before accessing the donor-recipient-linked repository. Recipient testing conducted during the establishment of RADAR revealed no transmissions of human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis C virus, or human T-lymphotropic virus. CONCLUSIONS: RADAR is a contemporary donor-recipient repository that can be accessed to study the transfusion transmissibility of emerging agents.
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