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    Given the possibility for disease transmission, this study was performed to determine whether there is detectable SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in the blood of deceased tissue donors. A retrospective analysis of blood samples from eligible deceased tissue donors from Oct 2019 through June 2020 was performed. Plasma aliquots were initially tested with a SARS-CoV-2 NAT Assay; positive samples were further tested using an alternate NAT and an antibody assay. The proportion of donors with confirmed RNAemia and 95% confidence intervals were computed. Of donor samples collected in 2019, 894 yielded valid results, with 6 initially positive, none of which confirmed positive by alternate NAT. Of donor samples collected in 2020, 2562 yielded valid initial NAT results, with 21 (0.8%) initially positive. Among those, 3 were confirmed by alternate NAT, 17 were not confirmed, and 1 had an invalid alternate NAT result. The rate of SARS-CoV-2 RNAemia in deceased tissue donors is approximately 1 per 1000, and it is unknown whether this RNAemia reflects the presence of infectious virus. Given these results, the risk of transmission through tissue is thought likely to be low. © 2022. The Author(s).


    Melissa A Greenwald, Eduard Grebe, Valerie Green, Alyce Linthurst Jones, Jeffrey M Linnen, Phillip Williamson, Michael P Busch, Matthew J Kuehnert. Low rate of detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in deceased tissue donors. Cell and tissue banking. 2023 Sep;24(3):585-596

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    PMID: 36484950

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