Transfusion Transmitted Infectious Diseases


evaluate and advance safety of blood transfusion by analysing Transfusion Transmitted Infectious Diseases, coordinating international studies and publishing scientific reports

Following blood transfusion, there is a risk of transfusion-transmitted infectious diseases (TTID), despite current advanced screening technologies. Infectious agents involved are very diverse and include hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV), human immunodeficiency (HIV-1/2), human T-cell lymphotropic (HTLV-I/II), Cytomegalo- (CMV), Parvo- B19, West Nile (WNV) and Dengue viruses. Trypanosomiasis, malaria, and Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE) also belong to TTID. TTID can be reduced by donor exclusion, screening for serological infection markers or nucleic acid testing (NAT) by viral gene amplification. Despite this, blood-borne infectious agents are transmitted through transfusion of infected blood donated by apparently healthy and asymptomatic blood donors.



We are responsible for evaluation and promotion of ways to increase blood safety in order to reduce the frequency of TTID. Our members participate in the following subgroups:

1) Bacteria

2) Parasites

3) Virology

4) Prions/Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE)

5) Surveillance, Risk Assessment & Policy (SRAP)

The latest findings based on literature reviews as well as member's experiences are also discussed. And we bring together scientific experts, company representatives and members from leading institutions and regulatory authorities.

Our Chairperson is Brian Custer.


We participate in subgroups and attend 1-2 day WP meetings linked to ISBT Congresses. Our subgroups develop and execute various surveys and laboratory experiments, analyse data with the intention to publish. Our subgroups discuss issues by conference call and in person. We sponsor Travel Awards and are launching a mentoring and training program for early/mid-career investigators, particularly from resource-limited countries.

Joining the WP

Applicants for membership must have a documented interest in TTID and preferably be involved in TTID surveillance or research. Equal representation of all world regions is a priority; we currently have over 90 members from ~30 different countries.

Employees from pharmaceutical companies are only able to join as Corporate Sponsors.

Interested in joining the TTID WP? Please email the ISBT Office or our Chairperson.



Some of the content is only accessible for ISBT-members. To join us, click here.

General Presentations


  1. Bacterial safety of blood components–a congress review of the ISBT transfusion‐transmitted infectious diseases working party, bacterial subgroupSandra Ramirez‐Arcos, Carl McDonald, Parampal Deol, Aukje L. Kreuger, Nidhi Patel, Heather Pidcoke, Marcel Prax, Axel Seltsam, Adonis Stassinopoulos, The ISBT Transfusion‐Transmitted Infectious Diseases Working Party Subgroup on BacteriaISBT Science Series, 18 March 2019
  2. A pilot serosurvey of Babesia microti in Chinese blood donors.Bloch EM, Yang Y, He M, Tonnetti L, Liu Y, Wang J, Guo Y, Li H, Leiby DA, Shan H; ISBT TTID Working Party Parasite SubgroupVox Sang. 2018 Mar 26. doi: 10.1111/vox.12648
  3. Enlargement of the WHO international repository for platelet transfusion‐relevant bacteria reference strainsE. Spindler‐Raffel R. J. Benjamin C. P. McDonald S. Ramirez‐Arcos K. Aplin I. Bekeredjian‐Ding D. de Korte C. Gabriel B. Gathof K.‐M. Hanschmann K. Hourfar C. Ingram M. R. Jacobs S. D. Keil Y. Kou B. Lambrecht J. Marcelis Z. MukhtarVox Sang 2017 Sept, 112, 713–722,
  4. Development of a web‐based application and multicountry analysis framework for assessing interdicted infections and cost‐utility of screening donated blood for HIV, HCV and HBVB. Custer M. P. Janssen G. Hubben M. Vermeulen M. van HulstVox Sang 2017 June, 112, 526–534,
  5. Survey for bacterial testing of platelet components in Latin AmericaRamirez-Arcos S, McDonald C; Benjamin RISBT Science Series, 2017 May 17
  6. Zika virus: a new challenge for blood transfusionD Musso, SL Stramer, MP BuschThe Lancet, 2016
  7. Comparison of seven hepatitis B virus (HBV) nucleic acid testing (NAT) assays in selected samples with discrepant HBV marker results from United States blood donors. Enjalbert F, Krysztof D, Candotti D, Allain JP, Stramer S. Transfusion 2014 Oct;54(10):2485-95.
  8. The international experience of bacterial screen testing of platelet components with an automated microbial detection system: a need for consensus testing and reporting guidelines Benjamin RJ1, McDonald CP2; ISBT Transfusion Transmitted Infectious Disease Bacterial WorkgroupTransfus Med Rev. 2014 Apr;28(2):61-71.
  9. Establishment of the first international repository for transfusion-relevant bacteria reference strains: ISBT working party transfusion-transmitted infectious diseases (WP-TTID), subgroup on bacteriaStörmer M, Arroyo A, Brachert J, Carrero H, Devine D, Epstein JS, Gabriel C, Gelber C, Goodrich R, Hanschmann KM, Heath DG, Jacobs MR, Keil S, de Korte D, Lambrecht B, Lee CK, Marcelis J, Marschner S, McDonald C, McGuane S, McKee M, Müller TH, Muthivhi Vox Sang. 2012 Jan;102(1):22-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1423-0410.2011.01510.x.

Cost Utility Analysis Webtool for HIV, HBV and HCV

Access the webtool here.





Brian Custer

Brian Custer


Vitalant Research Institute
San Francisco, USA