PREVALENCE OF ANTI-HBC IN SLOVENIAN BLOOD DONORS AND THE IMPACTON BLOOD SCREENING
AbstractBACKGROUND Blood donor screening is one of the measures that contribute to the safe blood supply.Safety is based on the prevalence of the infections in blood donors and on blood screeningprogrammes. The aim of our study was to determine the prevalence of anti-HBc in Slovenian blood donors, to give an estimation on the frequency of occult hepatitis B and to predictthe risk of HBV transmission to recipients by not excluding anti-HBc units. METHODS A total of 5959 units were screened for anti-HBc by modified ELISA (ChLIA) on Prismtesting system (Abbott). In repeatedly reactive samples, anti-HBs was tested as well. RESULTS Among screened donors, the anti-HBc incidence rate was 179/5959 (3.00 %). Therewere 55 samples that were anti-HBc positive only (69.83 % of anti-HBc pos, 0.90 % of alldonations). The number of units positive for both antibodies was 124 (2.10 % of all testeddonations). No significant difference was noted in the prevalence between male (3.00 %)and female (2.99 %). As expected, there was a raise in frequency from 0.78 % in a group of18–29 years to 5.82 % in a group 50–65 years. In the study group there was one donorwho was HBsAg carrier.Conclusion According to the results of this study, Slovenia is ranged among the countries with mediumanti-HBc prevalence rate. Screening of donors would additionally contribute to the higherblood safety. The higher cost due to testing and destroying units is not acceptable, especiallyafter the implementation of screening for HBV DNA and excluding the units that are reallyinfectious
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