CMV seronegative components

CMV seronegative blood is available for red cells and platelets components. It is selected by testing for antibodies to cytomegalovirus (CMV) using a CMV test approved for donor screening.

Transmission of CMV disease is associated with cellular blood components. Hence, fresh frozen plasma, cryoprecipitate and other plasma-derived blood components do not require special testing.

When should I use this modification?

You use this for CMV seronegative recipients who are at risk for severe CMV disease, such patients include:

  • recipients of allogeneic or autologous stem cell, bone marrow or solid organ transplants

  • recipients of highly immunosuppressive chemotherapy (eg, leukaemia or lymphoma)

  • recipients of intrauterine red cell transfusions

  • premature (<1500 g) or immunocompromised neonates

  • pregnant women who require transfusion regardless of CMV status

When CMV negative blood components are required, you should follow these recommendations:

  • Select CMV seronegative components whenever possible

  • If not available, leucocyte depleted components are considered to offer a high level of safety in preventing CMV transmission but are not universally believed to be equivalent to CMV seronegative components

  • Carefully monitor for CMV infection and disease in high risk patients. The additional benefit of leucocyte depletion in preventing transfusion transmitted CMV infection, in the context of the sole use of CMV seronegative components, is unknown.

For further details, consult the Guidelines for Pretransfusion Laboratory Practice (2007).