Red Cell PGD Test Kit by Verax Biomedical, Incorporated

Verax is currently developing a version of its PGD test to address the risk of bacterial contamination in red blood cells. While the risk of red blood cell contamination is lower than the risk of platelet contamination, at 1:20,000, it is the second largest infectious risk for the nation’s blood supply and far exceeds the risk associated with transfusion-transmitted viruses such as HIV, HCV, and WNV. Red blood cells are stored under refrigeration which limits the growth of many of the bacterial species that thrive in platelets. Some species, however, flourish in a refrigerated environment and are capable of reaching harmful levels during the significantly longer storage periods of red cells (up to 42 days vs. five days for platelets). Red blood cells tend to be contaminated with gram-negative bacteria such as Yersinia enterocolitica and Serratia Sp., which release endotoxin during storage and give rise to a greater rate of septicemia and fatal reactions.

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