Background & objectives:
Transfusion of blood and blood products although considered as a life saving treatment modality, but may lead to certain infectious and non-infectious complications in the recipients. The purpose of this analysis was to monitor the seroprevalence of anti-HCV antibody in the blood donor population in a hospital based blood bank in north India, to evaluate the trends over the years (2001-2011).
Relevant information of all the blood donors who donated whole blood at the department of Transfusion Medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi from the January 1, 2001 to December 31, 2011 was retrieved from the departmental records. The number of donors who were found reactive for anti-HCV anatibodies was calculated.
Of the 2,06,022 blood donors, 1,93,661 were males and 12,361 were females. The percentage of whole blood donors found seroreactive for anti-HCV antibodies was 0.39 per cent (n=795). The seroprevalence of anti-HCV in male blood donors was 0.38 per cent (n=750) and the respective seroprevalence in female blood donors was 0.36 per cent (n=45). No significant change in the trend of HCV seroprevalence was observed over the period under consideration. Maximum seroprevalence of anti-HCV was observed in the age group of 18 to 30 yr (0.41%) and the minimum in the age group of 51 to 60 yr (0.26%).
Interpretation & conclusion:
HCV seroprevalence in our study was 0.39 per cent and a decreasing trend with age was observed. No significant change in the trend of anti-HCV seroprevalence was seen over a decade. Since, no vaccine is presently available for immunization against HCV infection, transfusion transmitted HCV infection remains a potential threat to the safety of the blood supply.