Blood Safety Online
Your Resource Center for Continuing Education and Training

Emerging Pathogens and the Safety of the Blood Supply

Subject Description

Emerging pathogens pose a significant risk to blood safety worldwide.  Throughout history, global trade, migration and changes to the environment have all contributed to the spread of pathogens within endemic areas, and the introduction of these formerly localized pathogens and/or their arthropod vectors into new areas.

In the 21st century, advances in molecular technologies and genetics have contributed to the rapid identification of novel species and the ability to conduct surveillance for emerging pathogens.

Learning Objectives

  1. Recognize the definition and understand the history of emerging pathogens.
  2. Describe the factors that drive the spread of emerging pathogens.
  3. Understand the risks emerging pathogens pose to the blood supply.
  4. Describe methods to prevent emerging pathogens from entering the blood supply.

Level of Instruction


Author / Speaker

John Pitman, PhD
Medical Science Liaison, Cerus Corporation

John Pitman is an epidemiologist specializing in blood safety. He currently works as a Medical Science Liaison with Cerus Corporation, providing blood safety education to clinicians and serving as a conduit for further research and education specific to pathogen reduced blood products. From 2005-2016 he worked on global health programs with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including 10 years as a researcher and project leader with the blood safety team in the Division of Global HIV/AIDS.

He has contributed to more than twenty journal articles on blood safety and blood banking issues related to developing countries, and holds a PhD in blood bank epidemiology from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Prior to joining CDC, John worked as a journalist for more than a decade, mostly as an anchor and correspondent for the Voice of America. John also earned a Masters degree in Epidemiology from Yale University and a Masters in Journalism from Columbia University. John has also been licensed as an Emergency Medical Technician.

Additional Information

Cerus Corporation is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E.® Program.

P.A.C.E.: 368-13-21
Contact Hour: 1.0
Expires on: Dec 11, 2021 at 11:59 pm CT the day of

Professional Acknowledgment for Continuing Education

Blitz + Associates, Inc. is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, provider number 15148 for 1.0 contact hours.

CBRN: 114
Contact Hour: 1.0
Expires at: Dec 13, 2020 at 11:59 pm CT the day of

California Board of Registered Nursing

This program Has Been Approved by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) for 1.00 CERP, Synergy CERP Category A, File Number 22981.

Expires on: Jan 13, 2021 at 11:59 pm CT the day of

Technical Requirements and Assistance

Minimum software requirements:

  • Operating system
    • Windows XP SP2
    • Mac OS X 10.9
    • iOS 7
    • Android 4
  • Web browser
    • Internet Explorer 9
    • Safari 7
    • Latest version of Chrome or Firefox
  • Browser plug-ins
    • Learning activities may be in the Adobe Flash format. The latest version of Adobe Flash is always recommended to view this type of activity.
    • Learning activities may be encoded as MP4 videos. Your browser must support MP4 playback natively or through the operating system to view these videos.

Minimum hardware requirements:

  • Desktops, laptops
    • 512MB of RAM
    • 200MB of hard drive space
    • Intel x86 processor
  • Mobile devices
    • Device capable of running iOS 7
    • Device capable of running Android 4

Minimum connection speed:

  • A broadband connection is required for Adobe Flash and MP4 learning activities.

Please sign in to continue →

Are you new to the site?

Sign up today for all the benefits membership has to offer!

Registration is quick and easy!

Questions or Comments

Please contact
Blood Safety Online →