West Nile virus nucleic acid persistence in whole blood months after clearance in plasma: implication for transfusion and transplantation safety. Previous reports of West Nile virus (WNV) RNA persistence in blood compartments have raised concerns around the remaining risk of WNV transfusion transmission. This study characterized the dynamics of WNV viremia in blood compartments in a longitudinal cohort of 54 WNV-infected blood donors. Blood samples were collected throughout the year after WNV RNA-positive blood donation (index) and characterized for WNV immunoglobulin (Ig)M and IgG antibodies and for WNV RNA by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. WNV viral loads were compared in plasma and whole blood samples and correlated with blood groups and clinical outcomes.
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