The Roche Column

The burgeoning threat of infectious diseases

Time to raise the bar in blood safety

107 million – that’s the number of blood donations made worldwide every year. As this blood makes its journey from one person’s arm to another, how certain can we be of its safety? Infectious diseases pose a significant burden on global economics and public health, making blood safety indispensable. In a world where hepatitis, Zika virus and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) continue to plague us, it is time to raise the bar and aggressively tackle the problem head on.

How? The answer is simple – diagnostics. \

Combating threats to blood safety
Organisms like of bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites live in and on our bodies all the time. Normally, they are harmless and under certain circumstances, helpful. However, some are harmful and cause disease. Some of these infectious diseases are passed on from person to person. Others are transmitted through animal or insect bites or acquired by digesting contaminated water or food.

Another way of contracting an infectious disease is through a contaminated blood donation. That is where innovative blood screening technologies play an instrumental role in helping blood banks maintain reliable supplies of clean and safe blood.

Healthcare diagnostics has taken giant leaps forward in the past few decades and is now at the forefront of medical technologies that play a critical role in disease prevention and management. Building on industry-leading innovations and a rich legacy in this field, Roche is producing outstanding therapies and diagnostic tests. Roche has risen to the challenge of translating the wealth of molecular knowledge into cuttingedge tests and diagnostic solutions that provide answers and clarity to patients and healthcare professionals.

Roche Diagnostics is committed to ensuring blood safety for patients, laboratory technicians and healthcare professionals. With a broad spectrum of products and tests, the Roche Blood Safety Solution portfolio is carefully designed to bring: reliability by assuring patients that their blood test results are accurate and not confused with another patient’s sample due to automation; efficiency by increasing walk-away time to free up laboratory staff for other tasks and; safety to both patients and laboratory technicians by ensuring blood samples are not contaminated.

Medical emergencies
As a biotech company, Roche has a long history of responding to health emergencies, such as MERS in this region, Zika around the world and AIDS. Roche introduced the first HIV-1 test in 1985.

As a leader in the field, Roche is committed to providing diagnostic test solutions for the world’s most challenging emergencies. It has become evident over the years that health crises can arise anywhere, anytime and, as such, Roche remains at the frontline of defense for patients and healthcare providers.


1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Zika Virus, Transmission & Risks. Last accessed June 2016 at

2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Last accessed June 2016 at

3. Roche, Access to Diagnostics. Last accessed June 2016 at http://www.roche. com/sust-diagnostics-access.pdf 4. Blood Book, Blood Safety. Last accessed June 2016 at


Date of upload: 14th Mar 2017  

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