Confirmatory Testing of Donor Blood for Infectious Agents

All of the above tests are referred to as screening tests and are designed to detect as many infectious agents as possible. Because these tests are so sensitive, some donors may have a false-positive result, even when the donor was never exposed to the particular infection. In order to sort out true infections from false-positive test results, screening tests that are reactive may be followed up with more specific tests called confirmatory tests. Thus, confirmatory tests help determine whether a donor is truly infected. If any one of these tests fails, affected blood products are considered unsuitable for transfusion (U.S. FDA, 2004).

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