Bloodborne Pathogens Section
The BP Section is comprised of two units, the Special Initiatives Unit and the Blood Zoonotics Unit. The Special Initiatives Unit undertakes and supports the surveillance of bloodborne pathogens, including viral hepatitis, parasitic and emerging or re-emerging bloodborne pathogens. This surveillance is performed in collaboration with the National Microbiology Lab (NML). The unit further conducts risk assessment, prevention and control of infectious agents transmitted through the use of blood, blood products, tissues, cells and organs, including gene and stem cell therapies. The unit is active in developing and supporting national networks, databases and research studies many of which are relevant to new and emerging bloodborne pathogens. In conjunction with the BP Section, these networks support the ongoing establishment of a National Biorepository of blood and tissue specimens located at the NML to better characterize the epidemiology and laboratory science of bloodborne pathogens. Such cooperation and integration enable the Section to perform timely risk assessments as part of our risk management strategy to prevent and control infectious disease risks transmitted through blood. Data resulting from surveillance is translated into health intelligence to inform policy decisions and support the development and evaluation of targeted intervention strategies.
The Blood Zoonotics Unit uniquely covers xenotransplantation related surveillance and policy development. It develops new methods to identify animal viruses capable of transmission to human hosts, relevant to xenotransplantation. Surveillance for exposure to these agents is conducted and potential intervention measures are assessed, culminating in policy recommendations.
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