Clin Lab. 2023 Feb 1;69(2). doi: 10.7754/Clin.Lab.2022.220427.
BACKGROUND: Testing of blood donors for markers of transfusion-transmitted infections (TTIs) such as HBV, HCV, HIV, HTLV, syphilis, and malaria is mandatory in Saudi Arabia. This study determined the prevalence of all tested TTIs among blood donors in the western region of Saudi Arabia.
METHODS: This retrospective study included 5,473 blood donors who attended the blood donation center at the Security Force Hospital (SFH) located in the western region of Saudi Arabia from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2018. The prevalence of TTIs was determined and classified as per year, gender, age, type of donors (first-time vs. returned donors), category of donation (replacement vs. volunteer), and blood group.
RESULTS: All donors (100%) were screened for TTIs by serological assays and nucleic acid tests (NATs). “Reactive” samples to serological assays were as follow: 57 (1.07%) HBsAg, 292 (5.34%) HBsAb, 388 (7.1%) HBcAbs, 13 (0.24%) HCV, 5 (0.09%) HIV, 8 (0.15%) HTLV-I and -II, 21 (0.83%) syphilis, and 0 (0%) malaria. The NAT results for HBV, HCV, and HIV revealed 50 (0.91%), 1 (0.0002%), and 3 (0.05%) reactive samples, respectively. Reactive donations to screening serology tests of syphilis and HTLV-I/-II were neither confirmed nor declined by their corresponding confirmatory assays. Most “reactive” samples to TTI tests were associated with male gender, first-time donor, replacement donation, and O+ blood group.
CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights the strong adherence to TTI testing policy and low prevalence of TTI markers among blood donors in the western region of Saudi Arabia.