Important legal notice
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Health - Taking the temperature of European healthcare
“To improve the safety of the donated blood and organ supply with new knowledge and new screening procedures.”

The problem

The safety of donated blood and organs is not fully guaranteed for several reasons. One is the risk from new or mutated forms of infectious agents. At present, it takes many years to assess the dangers posed by these ‘emerging pathogens’ and develop measures to protect against them. And it is not even feasible to screen for all the pathogens we already know about. There are also difficulties in assessing the risks posed by the fact that many recipients of donated blood and organs have some immune-deficiency, placing them at greater danger from infection.

BOTIA  Safer blood and organ donation in the face of emerging threats


BOTIA will improve the safety of blood transfusion and organ transplantation.

The project will:

  • Create an EU-wide repository of paired donor and recipient samples to allow fast assessment of emerging blood-borne pathogens and a quick response to the dangers they pose
  • Identify emerging blood-borne pathogens using the latest genetic and biochemical techniques
  • Locate limitations in current screening procedures for donated blood and organs, and develop improvements
  • Produce specific recommendations that will help health authorities to tackle the problems

Contribution to policy development:

  • Identification of deficiencies and failures of existing health policy frameworks in relation to the safety of donated blood and organs
  • Provision of a research infrastructure that will decrease the response time of EU policy-makers when new threats arise or new techniques become available
  • Development of a range of specific policy recommendations to allow health authorities to contribute to the safety of the blood and organ supply

Project deliverables

  • Development of a Europe-wide collection of well-documented, linked blood samples from blood and organ donors and their recipients – months 0-36
  • Provision of new knowledge on the clinical significance of emerging pathogens – months 0-36
  • Development of new and improved screening techniques – month 0-36
  • Specific policy recommendations for health authorities – by end of project


  • Distribution of information about the sample repository to relevant research groups, companies and public health authorities – ongoing
  • Notification of blood banks and public health authorities about new screening
    procedures – ongoing
  • Presentation of results at the EuroSat Annual Congress of transfusion organisations – as required
  • Website for general dissemination of progress and results – ongoing
  • Recommendations for health authorities distributed to national departments of health –
    as required

Technical information

Project acronym: BOTIA
Project’s official full title: Improving the safety of blood and organ supply by creating
the research infrastructure to monitor emerging pathogens and develop new screening tests
Research priority: 2.2. Public health issues, including epidemiology contributing to disease prevention and responses to emerging rare and communicable diseases, allergies, procedures for secure blood and organ donations, non-animal test methods
Specific webpage: Not available
Proposal/contract no: Not specified
Start date: Not available
Kick off meeting: Not available
Completion date: Not available
European Commission scientific officer: Jan Paehler (

Name: Institut National de la Transfusion Sanguine
Abbreviated name: INTS
Address: 6 rue Alexandre Cabanel, 75739 Paris cedex 15
Country: France
Tel: +33(1) 44 49 30 00
Fax: +33 1 43 06 04 83


Name: Chancellor Masters and Scholars, University of Cambridge
Abbreviated name: UCAM
Country: United Kingdom

Name: Sanquin CLB Diagnostics
Abbreviated name: Sanquin
Country: Netherlands

Name: Centro Trasfusionale e di Immunologia dei Trapianti IRCCS Ospedale Maggiore di Milano
Abbreviated name: CTIT
Country: Italy

Name: Dipartimento di Medicina Trasfusionale e di Ematologia, Ospedale A.Manzoni, Lecco
Abbreviated name: DMTE
Country: Italy

Name: Scientific Institute of Public Health, Ministry of Public Health
Abbreviated name: IPH
Country: Belgium

Name: Centre de Transfusió i Banc de Teixits
Abbreviated name: CTBT
Country: Spain

Name: Academic Medical Centre
Abbreviated name: AMC
Country: Netherlands

Name: Diagnostics for the Real World, Ltd
Abbreviated name: DRW
Country: United Kingdom

Name:The Transfusion Institute of Frankfurt 
Abbreviated name: DRK BSD
Country: Germany