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HIV and hepatitis B/C infections in patients donating blood for use as autologous serum eye drops
  1. Volker Weisbach1,
  2. Tina Dietrich2,
  3. Friedrich E Kruse3,
  4. Reinhold Eckstein4,
  5. Claus Cursiefen5
  1. 1
    Department of Transfusion Medicine and Haemostaseology, University Hospital of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
  2. 2
    Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
  3. 3
    Department of Transfusion Medicine and Haemostaseology, University Hospital of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
  4. 4
    Department of Transfusion Medicine and Haemostaseology, University Hospital of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
  5. 5
    Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
  1. Prof Dr med Volker Weisbach, Transfusionsmedizinische und Hämostaseologische Abteilung, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, Krankenhausstraße 12, D - 91054 Erlangen, Germany; volker.weisbach{at}trans.imed.unierlangen.de

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During recent years eye drops from autologous serum have become increasingly popular for treating ocular surface disorders such as persistent corneal epithelial defects and severe forms of dry eye.14 Although very successful, one potential disadvantage of this approach—especially because the drops are used in a domestic setting—is the possibility of transmission of viral infections by the erroneous application of the eye drops to the wrong recipient. In a diagnostic laboratory, one single droplet of serum has been reported to have transmitted HIV to a laboratory technician.5 However, serological testing of patients who donate autologous serum is not generally established and there has been no report published so far analysing the rate of unknown viral infections in potential donors of autologous serum eye drops.14

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