Retrovirus Epidemiology Donor Study-II (REDS-II) Central Laboratory

Investigator: Mark Seielstad, PhD
Sponsor: Vitalant Research Institute

Location(s): United States


BSRI established and maintains a central laboratory for all REDS specimen testing. Program objectives are to assure safe and effective blood banking and transfusion medicine through basic, translational and clinical research. The objectives of the REDS-II Study are to conduct epidemiological, laboratory, and survey research on volunteer blood donors within the United States to ensure the safety and availability of the United States’ blood supply. This includes monitoring known blood-borne infectious agents, rapidly evaluating the impact of emerging pathogens , assessing the safety implications of changes in laboratory and/or blood donor screening protocols and examining blood supply and availability issues. Addressing issues concerned with the safety and availability of the United States’ blood supply will be the cornerstone of the Institute’s REDS program. These issues include:
a) the risks of transfusion-transmissible infections and their trends through time - these include infectious agents currently undergoing laboratory screening as well as new and emerging agents such as West Nile Virus;
b) ways to reduce the risks of transfusion-transmissible infections;
c) HIV, HTLV, HCV, and HBV test screening methodologies;
d) donor characteristics, behaviors, and donation return patterns of U.S. blood donors; and
e) the effectiveness and safety of various strategies implemented to increase the U.S. blood supply.