Blood donors screening for infection markers in Slovenia in the period 1991–2010
AbstractBackground: Blood donor screening is the most effective measure to prevent transfusion transmitted infectious agents. In each region, the healthcare authorities provide locally specific suitable screening. In Slovenia, screening for various viral markers has been implemented soon after the recognition of the agents and availability of testing techniques. Methods: A twenty-year period of uniform screening in the independent state of Slovenia is presented. Methods and techniques have been changed several times. Currently, we perform serological screening with Enzyme Immuno Assay (EIA). Direct detection of viral genome is performed with the NAT method of Transcription Mediated Amplification (TMA). Results: Results of testing and the frequency of detected infectious markers among donors are presented. During the period, prevalence rates for HBsAg, anti-HCV and anti-Treponema pallidum declined significantly over time. The yield of HIV screening is constant, despite a higher prevalence rate of HIV infection in general population. In the last five years, we detected on average 12 carriers of HBsAg, 5 donors with antiHCV antibodies, 0–2 persons infected with HIV and 10 with syphilis. In twenty years, we screened more than one and a half million of donations and detected more than 1,000 donors with transfusion-transmitted infection. In the year 1991, 1 positive donation was detected in 1,407 tested, compared to significantly decreased number of infections in 2009–1 in 3,550 (p < 0,0001). Conclusions: In the last twenty years, the number of donors with detected viral markers and deferred from blood donations has declined. Nowadays, blood supply is safe also owing to current approaches in blood screening.
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