Blood donor screening: how to decrease the risk of transfusion-transmitted hepatitis B virus?


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Blood donor screening: how to decrease the risk of transfusion-transmitted hepatitis B virus?
Swiss medical weekly
Niederhauser C., Mansouri Taleghani B., Graziani M., Stolz M., Tinguely C., Schneider P.
1424-7860 (Print)
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The risk of transfusion-transmitted HBV remains significant in Switzerland, where routine screening for hepatitis B virus (HBV) in blood donations relies solely on serological hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) testing. This study was designed to determine the prevalence of anti-hepatitis B core (anti-HBc) and HBV nucleic acid testing (NAT) positive donations in two different Swiss donor populations, to help in deciding whether supplemental testing may bring additional safety to blood products.
In a first population of donors, 18143 consecutive donations were screened initially for HBsAg, anti-HBc (with one EIA assay) and with HBV NAT in minipools of 24 donations. The screening repeatedly reactive anti-HBc donations were then "confirmed" with two supplemental anti-HBc assays, an anti-hepatitis B surface assay (anti-HBs) and with single donation HBV NAT. In a second population of donors, 4186 consecutive donations were screened initially with two different anti-HBc assays in addition to the mandatory HBsAg screening test. The screening repeatedly reactive donations with at least one anti-HBc assay were tested for anti-HBs.
In the first subset of 18143 donations, 17593 (97.0%) were negative for HBsAg, anti-HBc and HBV NAT in minipools. 549 (3.0%) were HBsAg and HBV NAT negative, but repeatedly reactive for anti-HBc. Of these 549 donations, 287 could not be "confirmed" with two additional anti-HBc assays and were negative with an anti-HBs assay, as well as with single donation HBV NAT. Only 211 (1.2% of the total screened donations) were "confirmed" positive with at least one of two supplemental anti-HBc assays. One repeatedly reactive HBsAg donation, from a first-time donor, was confirmed positive for HBsAg and anti-HBc, as well as with single donation HBV NAT. In the second subset of 4186 donations, 4014 (95.9%) were screened negative for HBsAg and for anti-HBc, tested with two independent anti-HBc assays. 172 donations (4.1%) were HBsAg negative but repeatedly reactive with at least one of the two anti-HBc assays. Of these 172 samples, 86 were reactive with the first anti-HBc assay only, 13 were reactive with the second anti-HBc assay only and 73 (1.7% of the total screened donations) were "confirmed" positive with both anti-HBc assays.
The prevalence of anti-HBc "confirmed" positive donations in the two Swiss blood donor populations studied was low (<2%) and we found only one HBV NAT positive (HBsAg positive) donation among more than 18000. Concerning blood product safety, an increase in the deferral rate of less than 2% of anti-HBc positive, potentially infectious donors, would in our opinion make routine anti-HBc testing of blood donations cost-effective. There is however still a need for more specific assays to avoid an unacceptably high deferral rate of "false" positive donors. In contrast, the introduction of HBV NAT in minipools gives minimal benefit due to the inadequate sensitivity of the assay. It remains to evaluate more extensively the value of individual donation NAT, alone or in addition to anti-HBc, as supplemental testing in the context of several Swiss blood donor populations.

Algorithms, Blood Donors, Blood Transfusion/adverse effects, DNA, Viral/analysis, Hepatitis B/prevention & control, Hepatitis B/transmission, Hepatitis B Core Antigens/blood, Hepatitis B Surface Antigens/blood, Humans, Immunoassay, Sensitivity and Specificity
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09/11/2014 16:50
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20/08/2019 16:17
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