Bacterial Infections from Transfusion

Bacterial Infections from Transfusion: Signs and Symptoms
Caused by bacterial contamination of any blood product, most commonly platelets due to room-temperature storage
Bacteria enters bloodstream directly through transfusion
Immune cells (ex. macrophages, dendritic cells, monocytes, neutrophils) recognize bacteria
Immune cells release pyrogens (either bacterial components or signalling molecules) upon recognition
Pyrogens bind to receptors on the hypothalamus
Hypothalamus ↑ body temperature set point
Body generates and conserves heat to reach set point
Immune cells release pro- inflammatory cytokines (messenger protein)
Cytokines activate sympathetic nervous system via hypothalamus
Adrenal glands release stress hormones (epinephrine and norepinephrine) into bloodstream
Stress hormones bind to receptors on cardiomyocytes (heart muscle cells)
↑ Heart contractility
↑ Heart rate
Cytokines circulate throughout the body
Cytokines interact with endothelial cells of the blood vessels
↑ Nitric oxide production
Relaxes smooth muscle cells of blood vessel walls
Vasodilation (↑ blood vessel diameter)
Systemic inflammation
Stimulate nerve endings in muscles
Stimulate nerve endings in gastrointestinal tract’s lining
Blood brain barrier’s integrity is compromised
Nitric oxide reacts with oxygen to form reactive nitrogen species
Tissue damage
Weakness Muscle aches
Nausea and vomiting
Immune and inflammatory cells enter the brain
Arzina Jaffer
Kayleigh Yang
Nimaya De Silva
Raafi Ali
Michelle J. Chen
Yan Yu*
Kareem Jamani*
* MD at time of publication
Inflammation in the brain
Activates pain processing centers in the brain
Damages neurons and disrupts cell communication
Confusion and altered mental state
Sign/Symptom/Lab Finding
Published January 30, 2024 on