In the last few decades through an awareness of transfusion transmitted infections (TTI), a majority of countries have mandated serology based blood screening assays for Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Hepatitis C virus (HCV), and Hepatitis B virus (HBV). However, despite improved serology assays, the transfusion transmission of HIV, HCV, and HBV continues, primarily due to release of serology negative units that are infectious because of the window period (WP) and occult HBV infections (OBI). Effective mode of nucleic acid technology (NAT) testing of the viruses can be used to minimize the risk of TTIs. This review compiles the examples of NAT testing failures for all three viruses; analyzes the causes for failure, and the suggestions from retrospective studies to minimize such failures. The results suggest the safest path to be individual donation testing (ID) format for highest sensitivity, and detection of multiple regions for rapidly mutating and recombining viruses. The role of blood screening in the context of the donation and transfusion practices in India, the donor population, and the epidemiology is also discussed. World wide, as the public awareness of TTIs increases, as the recipient rights for safe blood are legally upheld, as the possibility to manage diseases such as hepatitis through expensive and prolonged treatment becomes accessible, and the societal responsibility to shoulder the health costs as in the case for HIV becomes routine, there is much to gain by preventing infections than treating diseases.
Donor look back; individual donation nucleic acid technology testing; multi pool nucleic acid technology testing; recipient trace back; transfusion transmitted viral infections; window period and occult infections
An estimated 3% of the world population is infected with Hepatitis C virus (HCV), a hepatotropic RNA virus, transmitted primarily via the blood route. The major modes of transmission of the virus include injection drug use, unsafe injection practices, blood transfusion etc. HCV causes chronic hepatitis in about 80% of those infected by it. The mainstay in diagnosing infection with HCV is to initially screen high risk groups for antibodies to HCV (anti-HCV). The inclusion of serum to cut-off ratio (S/CO) in recent guidelines is helpful in deciding the supplemental assay to be used to confirm initially reactive screening results. Nucleic acid amplification tests (NAT) are used as confirmatory tools, and also to determine viral load prior to initiating treatment. Quantitative NAT has replaced qualitative assays. Genotyping is an important tool in clinical management to predict the likelihood of response and determine the optimal duration of therapy. The impact of this infection has begun to emerge in India. The problem of professional blood donation despite an existing law against it, and flourishing unsafe injection practices, are potential sources for the spread of hepatitis C in our country. All health care practitioners need to understand how to establish or exclude a diagnosis of HCV infection and to interpret the tests correctly. In the absence of a preventive or therapeutic vaccine, and also of post-exposure prophylaxis against the virus, it is imperative to diagnose infection by HCV so as to prevent hepatic insult and the ensuing complications that follow, including primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This review aims to help blood bank staff regarding options for diagnosis and management of donors positive for HCV.
Blood borne virus; hepatitis C virus diagnosis; nucleic acid test
For nucleic acid testing (NAT) of blood donations, either the blood samples can be pooled together in a batch of six or eight prior to testing (mini-pool-NAT [MP-NAT]), or the tests can be run on every individual sample (individual donor-NAT [ID-NAT]). It has been debated in various studies whether pooling of samples results in decreased sensitivity of detection as the volume of individual samples gets lesser in a pool. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of dilution on the sensitivity of tests.
Materials and Methods:
The study was performesd on nine plasma samples which were hepatitis B reactive exclusively by Procleix Ultrio Plus and not by Procleix Ultrio or serology. These nine exclusive UltrioPlus ID-NAT yield samples were diluted in 1:2, 1:4. 1:6 and 1:8 dilutions using previously tested negative plasma and each dilution of every sample along with archived undiluted sample were retested in three replicates with Procleix Ultrio Plus Assay.
Among NAT yield samples, 88.88% of the samples were detected when retested in ID-NAT in undiluted form. Samples with higher viral load (sample 5 and 6) were detected by all dilutions. When samples with viral load below 20 IU/mL were tested in dilutions of 1:6 or 1:8, only 9 out of 27 replicates (33.33%) were detected. This means that more than 67% of low viral load samples were missed by MP-NAT of 1:6 or 1:8 dilution out of total NAT yield samples.
Individual Donor NAT is ideal methodology for NAT as dilution due to pooling may miss samples with low viral load as evident in this study.
Hepatitis B surface antigen; hepatitis B virus; nucleic acid testing; pooling of samples
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is emerging as a potential threat to blood safety after several cases of transmission by transfusion or transplantation have been described. Currently, blood donors in India are not screened for HEV. The studies conducted on HEV in recent times in India have focused on epidemiology and future perspectives, but there is no published study on blood donors. To address possible issues surrounding blood safety and risk of HEV transmission within the Indian blood supply, HEV seroprevalence study was conducted in blood donors at our center.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 460 male voluntary blood donors were selected for the study and after taking their written consent. Serum anti-HEV IgM was detected by Dia.Pro HEV kit (Diagnostic Bioprobes Srl, Milano, Italy).
The study population was composed of 460 male voluntary blood donors and their age ranged from 18 to 60 years with a mean age of 30.48 years. Out of 460 donors, 22 (4.78%) donors were tested positive for IgM anti-HEV and the mean value alanine aminotransferase (ALT) was 26.06 IU/L, the highest being 93.5 IU/L. Normal reference value of ALT in our center was 40 IU/L. Out of 22 anti-HEV positive donors, 19 (86.36%) had ALT values above 40 IU/L.
HEV seroprevalence of 4.78% in our center. Though reports of HEV transmission through blood has been reported from various parts of the world, before making it as a mandatory screening test among blood donors in India, further studies with confirmatory assay of HEV need to be done.
Blood donors; hepatitis E virus; seroprevalence
Background and Aim:
Owing to the scarcity of data on hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes in Iraq and due to their epidemiological as well as therapy implications, this study was initiated aiming at determining these genotypes in Northern Iraq.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 70 HCV antibody positive multi transfused patients with hemoglobinopathies, who had detectable HCV ribonucleic acid, were recruited for genotyping using genotype-specific nested polymerase chain reaction.
The most frequent genotype detected was genotype 4 (52.9%) followed by 3a (17.1%), 1b (12.9%) and 1a (1.4%), while mixed genotypes (4 with either 3a or 1b) were detected in 7.1%.
The predominance of genotype 4 is similar to other studies from surrounding Eastern Mediterranean Arab countries and to the only earlier study from central Iraq, however the significant high proportion of 3a and scarcity of 1a, are in contrast to the latter study and may be explainable by the differing population interactions in this part of Iraq. This study complements previous studies from Eastern Mediterranean region and demonstrates relative heterogeneity of HCV genotype distribution within Iraq and should trigger further studies in other parts of the country.
Genotype 4; genotyping; hepatitis C virus; Iraq
Background and Objectives:
It is well established that Nucleic acid testing (NAT) reduces window phase of transfusion transmissible infections (TTI) and helps improve blood safety. NAT testing can be done individually or in pools. The objectives of this study were to determine the utility, feasibility and cost effectiveness of an in-house minipool-NAT(MP-NAT).
Materials and Methods:
Blood donors were screened by history, tested by ELISA and sero-negative samples were subjected to an in-house NAT by using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Testing was done in mini-pools of size eight (8). Positive pools were repeated with individual samples.
During the study period of Oct 2005-Sept 2010 (5 years) all blood donors (n=53729) were screened by ELISA. Of which 469 (0.87%) were positive for HIV-1, HBV or HCV. Sero-negative samples (n=53260) were screened by in-house MP-NAT. HIV-NAT yield was 1/53260 (n=1) and HBV NAT yield (n=2) was 1/26630.
NAT yield was lower than other India studies possibly due to the lower sero-reactivity amongst our donors. Nevertheless it intercepted 9 lives including the components prepared. The in-house assay met our objective of improving blood safety at nominal cost and showed that it is feasible to set up small molecular biology units in medium-large sized blood banks and deliver blood within 24-48 hours. The utility of NAT (NAT yield) will vary based on the donor population, the type of serological test used, the nature of kit employed and the sensitivity of NAT test used. The limitations of our in-house MP-NAT consisted of stringent sample preparation requirements, with labor and time involved. The benefits of our MP-NAT were that it acted as a second level of check for ELISA tests, was relatively inexpensive compared to ID-NAT and did not need sophisticated equipment.
Blood donor testing; blood safety; in house assay; mini-pool nucleic acid testing; real-time-polymerase chain reaction
Young people, who tend to be healthy, idealistic, and motivated, are an excellent pool of potential voluntary unpaid blood donors. Recruiting and retaining young blood donors improves the long term safety and sufficiency of a country's blood supply. Knowledge, attitude, and beliefs about Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) should play an important role in prevention of disease transmission.
Materials and Methods:
This study was a questionnaire based survey, conducted to explore the levels of knowledge, attitude, and beliefs about HIV in young college student blood donors.
The results showed that the proportion of participants with comprehensive knowledge of HIV prevention and transmission was lesser than expected. Increase in education level and male gender was found to be significantly associated with high HIV-related knowledge. The responses on the different aspects of HIV-related attitude were also varied and there is still stigma associated with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) even in the educated groups.
There was a spectrum of myths and misperceptions emphasizing the need of education that recognizes the social context of attitude towards HIV. Results from this study may contribute to the development of appropriate educational and training material for this group of donors which in turn, may assist in achieving the elusive goal of safe blood supply in future.
Attitude; beliefs; blood donors; college students; HIV; knowledge
Vasovagal reactions (VVRs) in blood donors.
To find an association of age, sex, donation status, weight, total blood volume and volume of blood collected with occurrence of immediate VVR.
Settings and Design:
Retrospective single-centre study.
Materials and Methods:
The study was conducted from March 2000 to November 2010 at a tertiary care blood transfusion centre. All VVRs with or without syncope occurring during or at the end of donation were noted.
Statistical Analysis Used:
For qualitative association, c2-test was used. Unpaired ‘t’ test was used for assessing difference between two groups with respect to VVR status. Simultaneous impact of all risk factors was assessed using multivariate logistic regression analysis. The data entry software SPSS (version 17.0) was used for statistical analysis. A P-value <0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Overall 1085 VVRs were reported in relation to 88,201 donations, resulting in an overall VVR rate of 1.23%, that is, an incidence of 1 in every 81 donations. Donors with low blood volume, first-time donors, with low weight and female donors had higher absolute donation VVR rates than other donors.
Donation-related vasovagal syncopal reactions are a multifactorial process determined largely by weight, age, first-time donor status and total blood volume. Our study reinforces the fact that blood donation is a very safe procedure, which could be made even more event-free by following certain friendly, reassuring practices and by ensuring strict pre-donation screening procedures.
Blood donor; first-time donors; total blood volume; vasovagal reaction; volume of blood collected
Sickle cell disease (SCD) often leads to chronic hemolytic anemia of varying severity, and blood transfusion may be employed in the management of SCD complications.
The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of blood transfusion on the activities of some antioxidant enzymes as well as lipid peroxide and to relate transfusion status to these enzymes and malondialdehyde (MDA) in SCD patients.
Materials and Methods:
Glutathione peroxidase (GPX), superoxide dismutase, catalase, MDA, and lipoproteins were assayed in 87 SCD and 20 age- and sex-matched subjects with normal hemoglobin. Of the 87 SCD patients, 30 had multiple transfusions, 21 had been transfused once while 36 had not been transfused within the last 3 months.
Statistically significant decrease in the mean levels of GPX (P = 0.045) and Cu/Zn SOD (P = 0.001) and increased (P = 0.001) MDA were observed in the transfused compared to non-transfused patients. Similarly, significant decrease (P = 0.001) in Cu/Zn SOD and increase (P = 0.01) in MDA were observed in multi transfused compared to those who had been transfused once. Transfusion status correlated (P <0.047) inversely with Cu/Zn SOD and positively with MDA.
Reduced activity levels of serum antioxidant enzymes and increased mean levels of MDA were observed in transfused compared to non-transfused SCD patients and these changes correlated with transfusion status.
Antioxidant enzymes; malondialdehyde; sickle cell disease; transfusion
Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) is not an uncommon clinical disorder and requires advanced, efficient immunohematological and transfusion support. Many AIHA patients have underlying disorder and therefore, it is incumbent upon the clinician to investigate these patients in detail, as the underlying condition can be of a serious nature such as lymphoproliferative disorder or connective tissue disorder. Despite advances in transfusion medicine, simple immunohematological test such as direct antiglobulin test (DAT) still remains the diagnostic hallmark of AIHA. The sensitive gel technology has enabled the immunohematologist not only to diagnose serologically such patients, but also to characterize red cell bound autoantibodies with regard to their class, subclass and titer in a rapid and simplified way. Detailed characterization of autoantibodies is important, as there is a relationship between in vivo hemolysis and strength of DAT; red cell bound multiple immunoglobulins, immunoglobulin G subclass and titer. Transfusing AIHA patient is a challenge to the immunohematologist as it is encountered with difficulties in ABO grouping and cross matching requiring specialized serological tests such as alloadsorption or autoadsorption. At times, it may be almost impossible to find a fully matched unit to transfuse these patients. However, transfusion should not be withheld in a critically ill patient even in the absence of compatible blood. The “best match” or “least incompatible units” can be transfused to such patients under close supervision without any serious side-effects. All blood banks should have the facilities to perform the necessary investigations required to issue “best match” packed red blood cells in AIHA. Specialized techniques such as elution and adsorption, which at times are helpful in enhancing blood safety in AIHA should be established in all transfusion services.
Alloadsorption; alloantibody; autoadsorption; autoantibody; autoimmune hemolytic anemia; best match blood; flow cytometry; gel technology
This is the first study on phenotype frequencies of various blood group systems in blood donors of south Gujarat, India using conventional tube technique.
Material and Methods:
A total of 115 “O” blood group donors from three different blood banks of south Gujarat were typed for D, C, c, E, e, K, Jka, Lea, Leb, P1, M, and N antigens using monoclonal antisera and k, Kpa, Kpb, Fya,Fyb, Jkb, S,s, Lua, and Lub antigens were typed using polyclonal antisera employing Indirect Antiglobulin Test. Antigens and phenotype frequencies were expressed as percentages.
From the 115 blood donor samples used for extended antigen typing in the Rh system, e antigen was found in 100% donors, followed by D [84.35%], C [81.74%], c [56.32%], and E [21.74%] with DCe/DCe (R1 R1, 40.87%) as the most common phenotype. k was found to be positive in 100% of donors and no K+k- phenotype was found in Kell system. For Kidd and Duffy blood group system, Jk(a+b+) and Fy(a-b-) were the most common phenotypes with frequency of 52.17% and 48.69%, respectively. In the MNS system, 39.13% donors were typed as M+N+, 37.39% as M+N-, and 23.48% as M-N+. S+s+ was found in 24.35% of donors, S+s- in 8.69%, and S-s+ as the commonest amongst donors with 66.96%. No Lu(a+b+) or Lu(a+b-) phenotypes were detected in 115 donors typed for Lutheran antigens. A rare Lu(a-b-) phenotype was found in 2.61% donors.
Data base for antigen frequency of various blood group systems in local donors help provide antigen negative compatible blood units to patients with multiple antibodies in order to formulate in-house red cells for antibody detection and identification and for preparing donor registry for rare blood groups.
Blood donors; blood group systems; India; phenotype frequency; red cell antigens; south Gujarat
Immune hemolysis is one of the adverse effects that can occur following solid organ transplantation. Understanding the clinical settings and the various causes is necessary for prompt diagnosis and appropriate management. One such condition is passenger lymphocyte syndrome (PLS). This case report describes the case of a 27-year-old male renal allograft recipient of the B-positive blood group who received a kidney from an O-positive donor. Postoperatively, the patient showed declining hemoglobin (Hb) level and was transfused with B-group packed RBCs (PRBCs), following which there was steep fall in Hb level. A request for PRBCs was sent to the blood bank and this time cross-match with B-group PRBCs showed incompatibility. The patient's RBCs were found to be strongly DAT (direct anti-globulin test) positive and the eluate showed the presence of anti-B with a titer of 32. Thus, diagnosis of probable PLS was made. The patient was managed with methylprednisolone, plasmapheresis and O-group PRBCs. Gradually his condition improved and was discharged in stable condition.
Antibody titer; DAT; hemolysis; passenger lymphocyte syndrome; transplantation
Guillain-Barre syndromé (GBS) is an autoimmune disorder. It is rare in pregnancy as there is a decrease in cell-mediated immunity. A case of 28-year-old pregnant woman who presented with acute flaccid quadriplegia suffering from GBS is discussed in this study. She was treated with plasma exchange in her immediate post-partum period. The management of GBS in pregnancy has been discussed.
Guillain-Barré Syndrome in pregnancy; plasma exchange; therapeutic plasma exchange