Canadian blood suppliers: An expanding role in public health surveillance?

TitleCanadian blood suppliers: An expanding role in public health surveillance?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
JournalCan Commun Dis Rep.
Start Page124
Date Published04?2022
AuthorsO'Brien SF, Drews SJ, Lewin A, Osiowy C, Drebot MA, Renaud C
Keywordsblood donors, epidemiology, public health, surveillance

Demographic data, routine infectious disease testing and screening questionnaire data are collected for all donations. Close to one million blood samples per year could be made available for surveillance. With 90% repeat donors, longitudinal sampling is possible. Current blood donor surveillance includes monitoring infectious marker rates in low risk (e.g. HIV, hepatitis C virus) or asymptomatic (e.g. West Nile virus) populations, and ad hoc studies to monitor transfusion-transmissible infections. These include tick-borne infections such as Babesia microti and foodborne infections such as hepatitis E. Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Québec are actively seeking to engage with public health professionals to further develop a role in public health surveillance.