Semin Thromb Hemost 2006; 32: 003-009
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-946908
Copyright © 2006 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

Hemophilia Therapy and Blood-Borne Pathogen Risk

Richard Knight1 , Samuel Stanley2 , Michael Wong3 , Gerard Dolan4
  • 1National CJD Surveillance Unit, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • 2Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri
  • 3Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 4University Hospital Nottingham, Nottingham, United Kingdom
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21. November 2006 (online)


For a brief period, modern medical science was considered to have relegated infectious disease to that of a minor clinical challenge. However, several infectious diseases have emerged or re-emerged in recent years, raising epidemiological concerns, as well as issues over the availability of effective measures of control and treatment. Invariably, these infectious agents have been studied carefully in relation to the safety of blood products, often resulting in concern and action. Emerging diseases arise from many sources. Some are the result of viruses crossing the species barrier from animals to humans. In addition, combinations of these newly identified viruses may make each more difficult to treat, as in the case of human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis C virus coinfection. Still others can arise from completely new biological mechanisms, such as the prion disease variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, which has spread from infected cattle to humans, particularly in the United Kingdom. The emergence of new viruses and new disease sources has had a significant impact on coagulation factor therapies and blood donation policies. We must deal with these multiple threats and their potential to compromise the safety of our blood supply.


Richard Knight

National CJD Surveillance Unit

Crewe Road, Edinburgh, UK EH4 2XU