The US lags behind other developed countries in creating a system to monitor disease transmission and other complications from human allograft use, despite a pressing need. The risks of transmission are amplified in transplantation, since at least 8 organs and more than 100 tissues can be recovered from a single common organ and tissue donor. Moreover, since many allografts collected in the US are distributed internationally, tissue safety is a global concern. In June 2005, participants of a US government-sponsored workshop concluded that a communication network for the tracking and reporting of disease transmissions for tissues and organs was critically needed. The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) entered into a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2006 to develop a system prototype. Over the following 3 years, the Transplantation Transmission Sentinel Network (TTSN) was developed and piloted with the participation of organ procurement organizations, tissue banks and transplant centers. The prototype centered around three elements of data entry: (1) donation, (2) tissue implantation, and (3) adverse event. The pilot proved that a system can be built and operated successfully, but also suggested that users may be hesitant to report adverse events. CDC has requested further input on scope and cost to build a transplant surveillance infrastructure for a fully functional national system. For tissues however, in contrast to organs, tracking from recovery to implantation will be necessary before a system is operable, requiring common identifiers and nomenclature. Until a US sentinel network is operational, future transmission events that are preventable may result nationally and globally due to its absence.
Tissue banking Transplantation Surveillance Sentinel networks Traceability Biovigilance Organ and tissue safety