Transfusion. 2023 Feb 16. doi: 10.1111/trf.17279. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: U.S. blood donors are tested at each donation for human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV) antibodies. Depending on donor incidence and other mitigation/removal technologies, a strategy of one-time selective donor testing should be considered.
METHODS: Antibody seroprevalence was calculated for HTLV-confirmed-positive American Red Cross allogeneic blood donors from 2008 to 2021. Incidence was estimated for seven 2-year time periods using confirmed-positive repeat donors having seroconverted in 730 days. Leukoreduction failure rates were obtained from internal data from July 1, 2008-June 30, 2021. Residual risks were calculated using a 51-day window period.
RESULTS: Between 2008 and 2021, >75 million donations (>18 million donors) yielded 1550 HTLV seropositives. HTLV seroprevalence was 2.05 antibody-positives per 100,000 donations (0.77 HTLV-1, 1.03 HTLV-2, 0.24 HTLV-1/2), and 10.32 per 100,000 among >13.9 million first-time donors. Seroprevalence differed significantly by virus type, sex, age, race/ethnicity, donor status, and U.S. census region. Over 14 years and 24.8 million person-years of observation, 57 incident donors were identified (25 HTLV-1, 23 HTLV-2, and 9 HTLV-1/2). Incidence decreased from 0.30 (13 cases) in 2008-2009 to 0.25 (7 cases) in 2020-2021. Female donors accounted for most incident cases (47 vs. 10 males). In the last 2-year reporting period, the residual risk was 1 per 2.8 million donations and 1 per 3.3 billion donations when coupled with successful leukoreduction (0.085% failure rate).
CONCLUSIONS: HTLV donation seroprevalence for the years 2008-2021 varied by virus type and donor characteristics. Low HTLV residual risk and use of leukoreduction processes support the conclusion that a selective one-time donor testing strategy should be considered.