Prevalence of Markers of Hepatitis C virus among the Blood Donors 959-962
Dr. Harjot Kaur
Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology,
Blood bank, Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of
Medical Sciences and Research,
Vallah, Amritsar, India.
Introduction: Hepatitis C infections continue to be a threat to safe transfusion practices. We analyzed the prevalence and trends of the Hepatitis C infection among voluntary and replacement donors in a 6.5 years retrospective study from January 2005 till June 2011 at the blood bank at Sri Guru Ram Das Institute of Medical Sciences And Research, Vallah, Amritsar, India. The donors were evaluated for the sero prevalence of the Hepatitis- C virus (HCV).
Methods: A total of 35793 healthy blood donations which were collected from January 2005 to July 2011 were screened for anti -HCV antibodies by using third and fourth generation (for confirmation) ELISA kits (HCV Microlisa; J. Mitra/ Eliscan HCV; RFCL Qualisa HCV; Qualpro) with a reported sensitivity and a specificity of 100% each (for the fourth generation kits).
Results: Out of these, 7089(19.8%) were voluntary donors and 28704 (80.1%) were replacement donors. 493 blood donors tested positive for HCV. The average prevalence in percentage was found to be 1.38%. The prevalence rate showed a decline from 2.03% in 2005 to 0.87% by June 2011. The statistical analysis which was done by using the Chi-square test (51.193), demonstrated that the decreasing trend in the prevalence of HCV was statistically significant.
Conclusion: The screening of blood products is the only way to prevent the transfusion associated complications and this should be rigorously implemented. There is a need to stress more stringent donor selection criteria to ensure a safer blood supply. The health authorities need to include hepatitis C on their radar as a disease which can result in significant morbidity and mortality in the years to come.