Transfusion transmissible infections (TTI) testing is one of the cornerstones of blood safety. Accurate estimation of the prevalence of TTI markers is essential for monitoring of the donor selection/deferral process as well as for the epidemiological situation in the country.
Aim of the study: the aim of this study is to evaluate the seroprevalence of mandatory tested TTI markers (HBV, HCV, HIV and Syphilis) in blood donors and to estimate the demographic characteristics of blood donors with positive TTI markers in the period of 10 years, from 2007 to 2016.
Material and methods: Blood samples were screened for HBsAg, anti-HCV antibodies, anti-HIV (p24 antigen and HIV-1/2 antibodies) and Syphilis (anti-TP) using serological assays (EIA – Enzygnost, Siemens and CMIA – Architect system, Abbott). Repeatedly reactive samples were retested with confirmatory assays: Vidas HBsAg Ultra, Immunoblot Deciscan HCV Plus and RecomLine HCV.Demographic data (sex, age, number of donations andethnicity) of243 donors with positive TTI markers were evaluated using the donor software.
Results: From the total of 269.355 blood units tested, 876 were positive for TTI with the prevalence rate of 0,32%. The number of repeatedly reactive (RR) and confirmed positive (CP) samples was as follows: 831 (0,31%) were HBV RR and 750 (0,28%) were HBV CP; 416 (0,17%) were HCV RR and 122 (0,04%) were HCV CP; 245 (0,10%) were HIV RR and 4 (0,001%) were HIV CP. There were no CP samples for Syphilis in
the analyzed period.The number of confirmatory positive (CP), confirmatory negative (CN) and confirmatory indeterminate (CI) results from the total of 243 HBV and HCV RR donorsin the period from 2013 to 2014 was 149 (61.3%), 84 (34.6%) and 10 (4.1%) respectively. The demographic characteristics of this 243 donors were the fallowing: 103 (69%) first time donors, 128 (86%) male vs. 21 (14%) female, mean age of 34.4 years, mean number of 1.3 donations/donor, 107 (72%) were with Macedonian and 42 (28%) were with Albanian origin.
Conclusion: Blood donation in our country is voluntary, non-remunerated, on regular basis and there are practically no family/replacement donors. Donor selection and deferral criteria are permanently revised. Blood screening and confirmatory testing for TTI is performed according to the standard operating procedures and algorithms which enable deferral and counselling of donors with positive TTI markers. All of this contributes to the low prevalence of TTI markers in our blood donor population as a fundamental to blood safety.
Key words: blood donors, blood safety, transfusion transmitted infections, TTI testing.
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