Human Tissue Authority

The regulator for human tissue and organs

Regulatory alert 001/2018 - West Nile Virus

Issued: 14 August 2018

Notice for:

•    Designated Individuals in the Human Application sector 
•    Licence contacts in the Organ Donation and Transplantation sector 



This alert is being issued by the Human Tissue Authority (HTA) and includes information about recent cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) in individuals in Romania and France.

Please circulate this information to staff within your establishment undertaking activities which may be affected by this notice.


On 3 August 2018, the Romanian Directorate of Public Health Control created an alert on the EU Rapid Alert on Substances of Human Origin platform advising that seven individuals in the counties of Braila, Bacau, Bucuresti, Ilfn, Botosani, Dolj and Olt had been diagnosed as infected with WNV.

On 11 August 2018, the Agence Nationale de Securité du Médicament (ANSM) in France created an alert on the same platform advising of 3 autochthonous human cases of WNV (1 confirmed and 2 probable) in the city of Nice in the Alpes-Maritimes department of France.

On 13 August, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) issued a rapid risk assessment relating to the early large increase in WNV infections reported in the EU/EEA and EU neighbouring countries.

On 15 August, the Joint United Kingdom (UK) Blood Transfusion and Tissue Transplantation Services Professional Advisory Committee (JPAC) updated the Geographical Disease Risk Index (GDRI) for France and Monaco.

Action taken by the HTA

The HTA has issued this alert to all UK establishments that handle human tissues and cells for human application or are involved in solid organ transplantation to raise awareness of potential WNV transmission from donors to recipients.

Actions for establishments

This alert is to ensure that all establishments are aware of the recent reports of WNV and can review their donor selection and evaluation procedures accordingly.

Up-to-date information on WNV and a copy of the rapid risk assessment produced by the ECDC can be found here. The GDRI can be found here.


Last updated on: 20 Aug 2019