SaBTO microbiological safety guidelines

Information on the safety of transplanting human organs, tissues and cells from the advisory committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs (SaBTO).



This document provides guidance on minimising the risk of an infection being passed on through transplanted organs, tissues and cells.

This guidance was first published in 2017, and replaced the 2011 ‘Guidance on the microbiological safety of human organs, tissues and cells used in transplantation’. The summary document outlines the major changes to the guidance in 2017.

Published 21 February 2011
Last updated 18 January 2024 + show all updates
  1. The main changes from the previous published guidelines from March 2023 are: update on Monkeypox (Mpox) in section 13; update on malaria in section 13; addition of section on human herpes virus (HHV-8), in the context of introduction of screening for HHV-8 in deceased organ donors, in section 12.23; updates to Table 3.

  2. The main changes from the previous published guidelines from 2020 are: addition of a footnote to include the changes to UK legislation since the UK left the EU in 2021; clarification on who should provide expert guidance on the interpretation of microbiological results in section 9; addition of Monkeypox (Mpox) to section 13 and updated residual risk estimates in Table 4.

  3. Addition of a new annex to cover SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).

  4. Added updated guidelines for 2017 and summary of major changes.

  5. First published.