Why pathogen reduction?

Transfusion-transmitted infections (TTI) persist despite interventions used to reduce risk. Bacterial contamination presents the most significant infectious risk, followed by the emergence of new pathogens such as dengue and chikungunya.  Now, U.S. blood centers have a new tool to help protect patients against the risks of TTI – the INTERCEPT Blood System, pathogen reduction system.

A proactive approach to mitigating TTI risk

While current screening tests have lowered the risks from transfusion transmitted infections, tests are reactive, requiring identification of specific pathogens for which to develop and implement tests.

In contrast, pathogen reduction by inactivation is a proactive safety measure—the process can neutralize clinically relevant pathogens present in platelet and plasma components independently of whether they have been identified as specific blood supply risks. This is critical because there is typically a lag between the emergence of new pathogens, and the recognition that an additional safety intervention may be needed.

The INTERCEPT Blood System inactivates a broad spectrum of enveloped viruses, non-enveloped viruses, gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, spirochetes and parasites. Contaminating T-cell activity is reduced by the INTERCEPT treatment, potentially reducing the risk of transfusion-associated graft versus host disease (TA-GVHD) in platelet components.


 what is intercept why pathogen large

Addressing bacterial contamination

Bacterial contamination of platelet products is the most significant infectious risk in transfusion today. About 1 in 1,500 platelet units is estimated to contain bacteria, even after culture detection, translating to a 1 in 250 per patient risk.1

The INTERCEPT Blood System for Platelets achieves effective inactivation for a breadth of bacteria with varying growth rates, including:

TTI risk due  
to bacteria 





INTERCEPT - Proven safe and effective

INTERCEPT brings US blood centers a means to help keep the blood supply safe with proven therapeutic efficacy, as well as broad spectrum protection against transfusion-associated pathogens.

Are you ready?




1) Kleinman S et al. Transfusion 2013;53:1603-1618.

2) Lin L et al. Transfusion 2004;44:1496-1504.

3) Nussbaumer W et al. Transfusion 2007;1125-1133.

4) Schmidt M et al. Vox Sang 2001;101(S1):226.


*Certain non-enveloped viruses (e.g., HAV, HEV, B19 and poliovirus) and Bacillus cereus spores have demonstrated resistance to the INTERCEPT process.