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French Blood [PORTABLE]



Most cases of hepatitis E viral (HEV) infection in developed countries are autochthonous. Nevertheless, the reported seroprevalence of HEV varies greatly depending on the geographical area and the performance of the immunoassay used. We used validated assays to determine the prevalence of anti-HEV immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgM among 10,569 French blood donors living in mainland France and three overseas areas. Epidemiological information was collected using a specific questionnaire. We found an overall IgG seroprevalence of 22.4% (8%-86.4%) depending on the geographical area (P




French Blood



To determine whether hepatitis E is a frequent disease in France and to establish a starting point for further studies on HEV epidemiology, HEV prevalence was estimated in the general population using sera from blood donors from two regions of France. The first region, Ile de France, is located near Paris, in an urban area, and the second one, Pays de Loire, is located in the west of France, in a rural area with many swine herds.


Sera from 998 blood donors from Ile de France and 1,000 sera from Pays de Loire were obtained from the Établissement Française du Sang. Information on sex, age, and travel to regions of HEV endemicity were provided.


According to the investigating judges, the three former ministers bear a grievous share of responsibility in the "contaminated blood affair," which first surfaced in 1992. They will answer to charges of involuntary homicide and involuntarily compromising the well being of others before the Court of Justice of the Republic, a special tribunal created in 1993 to judge members of the government for crimes or misdeeds allegedly committed during the performance of their duties.


All of this, according to the investigative judges, led to the "sinister French exception." More than half of all European cases of blood contamination after transfusion occurred in France. Specific accusations are levelled against one or another of the former ministers, who had earlier been placed under examination for various charges such as non-assistance to persons in danger, administration of substances harmful to health, and complicity in poisoning. Earlier this month, the Cour de Cassation, France's highest court, ruled that poisoning was a crime implying the intent to kill, and the charge was changed to involuntary homicide, which carries a maximum of three years' imprisonment and a fine of Fr 300000 (30000, $48000).


The French Blood Establishment (EFS) is a public organization established in January 2000. EFS has the monopoly in France over the collection, testing, preparation and distribution of labile blood products (except for the distribution of plasma since 2015) to some 1900 health care facilities. Voluntary and unpaid donations, high quality blood products self- sufficiency, as well as patient and donor safety are the principles governing blood transfusion in France and enforced as such by French law and regulations. A majority of recipient blood typing and blood components issuing in France is carried out directly by EFS. The plasma for fractionation collected and qualified by EFS is provided to the Laboratoire Français du Fractionnement et des Biotechnologies (LFB).EFS comprises one national headquarter and 13 regional establishments (10 in mainland France, 1 in the Martinique, 1 in Guadeloupe-Guyana, 1 in Réunion island, also serving Mayotte), headed by directors appointed by the President of EFS and acting by delegation from him with regard to management and operations. EFS headquarter is in charge of overall strategic management of the establishment, operations coordination, medical and scientific matters, quality management, human resources, purchasing, finances, communication, information technology, legal affairs and technical services. The priorities of the national EFS quality policy comprise i) self-sufficiency and quality and safety of labile blood products and services for the patients and donors , ii) staff adequacy and skills and iii) overall efficiency.


Blood to the rescue again! After centuries of quarreling, a Franco-Spanish crack team of historians, forensic scientists, DNA experts, and others in the medical community joined the fray a few years back. Exhibits were produced. One was the presumed mummified head of Henri IV, fountainhead of the Bourbon bloodline, another an heirloom handkerchief soaked with the presumed blood of Louis XVI, blood mopped up by an admirer when the king was guillotined in 1793 and jealously preserved since then by an aristocratic Italian clan.


The EFS is conducting innovative medical research, mostly in partnership with Inserm and universities. It carries out research, contributing to scientific and medical progress in the service of patients and in fields related to transfusion activities: laboratory research on blood cells, hematology, cell and tissue therapy, immunology, microbiology and clinical research.


The first identified cases of COVID-19 were detected on December 8, 2019, in Wuhan, China and the first documented case in Europe was reported retrospectively in France in one patient with a diagnosis of pneumonia and a positive SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR result on December 27, 2019 [1]. By April 4, 2020, local community transmission was reported in all continents and over 1 million cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed worldwide. Although dedicated surveillance and contact tracing did not identify local transmission before the second half of February in Europe, there is accumulated evidence that SARS-CoV-2 circulated in early January 2020 in the East of France [2] and environmental studies suggest that the virus could have been present in December 2019 in Northern Italy [3]. A recent investigation of the presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in 959 adults participating to a trial in Italy with blood samples collected between September 2019 to February 2020 identified 111 (11.6%) samples with a positive receptor-binding protein specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), among which 4 samples collected in October, 1 in November and 1 in February were also positive in a qualitative microneutralization assay [4]. This indicates that SARS-CoV-2 could have been present in Italy since the beginning of autumn 2019. However, information on antibody responses at the early stage of the SARS-CoV-2 spread in other European countries or worldwide remains scarce.


Number of blood samples tested each week for anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies by ELISA-S IgG test (horizontal bars) and percentages of ELISA-S positive test (red dots, with exact 95% Confidence Interval) in adult participants from the CONSTANCES cohort, France


For years, concerns were raised about transfusion-transmitted infections (TTIs) during CHIKV outbreaks,4,5 and attempts were made to estimate the risk.6,7 During the La Reunion outbreak in 2006,6 modeling of TTI risk was based on (1) a proportion of asymptomatic infections of 15%, (2) a 6-day mean duration of viremia after clinical onset in symptomatic patients, (3) a 1.5-day mean duration between the beginning of viremia and clinical onset in symptomatic patients, and (4) a 7.5-day total duration of viremia in asymptomatic patients. Items (1) and (2) were obtained from observational studies,3,6 (3) and (4) being assumed. By using the same model, we estimated that the risk of CHIKV contamination from asymptomatic and presymptomatic viremic blood donors would be roughly equivalent.


In early 2014, the French Blood Agency implemented a strategy to prevent CHIKV TTIs in the FWI that relied on specific CHIKV nucleic acid testing (NAT) combined with postdonation self-reporting of febrile symptoms, accompanied by a 72-hour postdonation quarantine of nonpathogen reduced blood products.


At the outset of CHIKV spread into the Americas, this study suggests that NAT together with postdonation self-reporting of fever and quarantine of blood products can play a key role for maintaining safe blood donation during an epidemic situation.


A French court on Friday convicted three former government doctors, including the director of the National Blood Transfusion Center, of knowingly distributing AIDS-infected blood products to hemophiliac patients, resulting in as many as 1,000 new cases of infection and 256 deaths.


The judges also assessed a total of $1.8 million in fines, to be distributed among civil plaintiffs in the case, after ruling that the doctors continued to supply contaminated blood products to French hemophiliacs at least six months after an American blood-screening test and a heat-treatment process, which prevents contamination, were perfected and introduced in other countries.


The case centered on six months in 1985 when the methodology of AIDS-contaminated blood product identification and purification was developed. In March, 1985, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a test to screen for antibodies to the virus that causes AIDS. The test enabled blood banks to check donors, recipients and existing blood supplies for the virus, known as HIV.


About the same time, a heat treatment developed in the United States had won near-universal acceptance in the international medical community as an effective way to deactivate the AIDS virus in blood products, including the blood-clotting proteins required by hemophiliacs.


Since the beginning of the AIDS epidemic, hemophiliacs have been at the top of the high-risk category because they require regular transfusions of pooled blood products to provide the Factor 8 blood-clotting agent that they lack. 041b061a72


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