Département d’études des agents transmissibles par le sang,
Institut national de la transfusion sanguine,
6 rue Alexandre-Cabanel,
75015 Paris, Laboratoire d’hématologie,
The transfusion risk of infection has been dramatically reduced, particularly for the three major viruses (human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B and C viruses) by implementing specific preventive measures, so that other transfusion complications, including immunological accidents, have now taken precedence, in terms of frequency and danger, on classical infectious complications. However, the infectious risk of blood products is not fully controlled, because of the possibility of bacterial contamination and of the emergence or reemergence of viruses. Procedures of pathogen reduction, effective on all infectious agents (except prions), will most likely be applicable to all blood products in the coming years.