It's not only humans who benefit from the day-to-day exchange of goods, information and services. Viruses and other pests also like to seize these new opportunities to sneak their way around the world. This explains the emergence of new viruses and re-emergence of old blights such as the Zika virus, which originated in Africa and first appeared in Latin America a few years ago, where it’s quickly becoming more commonplace. This phenomenon has a knock-on effect on transfusion medicine in Germany, as more and more pathogens such as Zika or even Chagas find their way there in travelers' blood - prompting Roche Diagnostics Deutschland GmbH to launch two new assays on the market to test for these two diseases.

When it comes to donating blood, the top priority is the safety of both the donor and the recipient. Thus the German guidelines for the preparation of blood and blood components and for the use of blood products (hemotherapy) precisely exclude certain people as donors. One of these categories is anyone infected with Chagas disease. Although native to South America, this parasite has now also found its way to Europe on the back of tourism. It can be assumed that several thousand people are infected in Germany alone. These and other cases need to be detected in transfusion medicine, which calls for precisely the reliable, targeted tests that Roche is now offering with its new assays for Zika and Chagas.

Roche Diagnostics Deutschland GmbH (68305 Mannheim, Germany)