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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 74-79

Prevalence of transfusion transmissible infections among voluntary blood donors: The need for adoption of sensitive screening assays

1 Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, College of Health Sciences, University of Jos, Jos, Nigeria
2 Department of Haematology and Immunology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
3 Federal Medical Centre Yola, Yola, Nigeria
4 Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ayuba Zakari
Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, College of Health Sciences, University of Jos, PMB 2084, Jos, Plateau State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/smj.smj_163_20

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Background: Transfusion-transmissible infections (TTIs) in blood donors increase the risk of acquisition of these infections in blood and blood products recipients. Sensitive screening methods reduce the risk of transmission of TTIs to blood and products recipients. Objectives: The study sought to determine the prevalence of TTIs among voluntary non-remunerated blood donors (VNRBDs) and examine the need for the use of advanced donor screening methods to ensure blood infection safety.. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted at the National Blood Transfusion Service (NBTS). Consenting VNRBD aged 18–65 years, were consecutively recruited during routine blood drives organized by the NBTS, between August and October 2016 after completing a structured questionnaire. Samples from donated blood units were screened for Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Hepatitis B virus (HBV), Hepatitis C virus (HCV), and syphilis using the fourth-generation ELISA. Results: The data obtained from 865 participants were analyzed. One hundred and eighty-two (21%) participants tested positive for TTIs. The prevalence of HBV, HCV, HIV, and syphilis among the participants was 14.7%, 4.6%, 1.8%, and 1.6%, respectively. Coinfection was found in 8.7% of the study participants. A statistically significant association was established between the sex of the participants and TTIs (χ2= 6.217, P = 0.0013). Conclusion: The prevalence of TTIs among VNRBD was high. Due to its attendant consequences on blood infection safety and implication on donor retention, there is a need for adoption of sensitive screening assays to ensure blood safety.

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