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Home Eurosurveillance Weekly Release  2004: Volume 8/ Issue 44 Article 2
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Eurosurveillance, Volume 8, Issue 44, 28 October 2004

Citation style for this article: Eighth case of vCJD identified in France was a blood donor. Euro Surveill. 2004;8(44):pii=2576. Available online:

Eighth case of vCJD identified in France had been a blood donor

Editorial team (, Eurosurveillance editorial office

Another case of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease has been identified by the surveillance system set up by the Institut de Veille Sanitaire and the National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) in France. This is the eighth case to have been identified in France since 1996.

The patient is known to have donated blood on several occasions between 1993 and 2003. These donations were used to supply red blood cells for transfusion, and also for the manufacture of blood products. None of the seven previous French vCJD patients had, to the knowledge of their families and the National Blood Service, donated blood.

The risk of vCJD transmission by transfusion has been informed by recent reports from the UK [2,3]. The ten people who have received transfusions (red blood cells) donated by this donor/vCJD patient are being informed by their doctor of their risk and any actions they should take.

The risk of vCJD transmission by plasma-derived products has not been established, and if it exists, may be reduced by various stages of fractionation. The French Laboratory of Fractionation and Biotechnologies has identified the product batches in which the plasma from this vCJD case was used. Distribution of these batches has been stopped and a recall of products in stock is being issued.

The risk of transmission of vCJD by blood products has been evaluated several times by the French Agency for Safety of Health products (l’Agence française de sécurité sanitaire des produits de santé, AFSSAPS), most recently in February 2004.

The risks to the individuals who have received blood products of the implicated batches will be assessed by an expert group convened by the AFSSAPS, with consideration of the nature of the product and the quantities received.

This article was translated and adapted from reference 1 by the Eurosurveillance editorial team

  1. Ministère de la santé et de la Protection sociale. Maladie de Creutzfeldt-Jakob : un huitième cas de nouveau variant. Press release. 21 October 2004. (
  2. Possible second case of variant CJD prion protein transmission from blood transfusion in the UK. Eurosurveillance Weekly 2004: 8(31): 29/07/2004 (
  3. CDR editorial team. Possible case of transfusion-associated variant CJD in the United Kingdom. Eurosurveillance Weekly 2003; 7(51): 18/12/2004 (

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