BACKGROUND: Screening of blood donors with nucleic acid testing (NAT) for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) has been implemented recently in the United States. There are limited data, however, on the additional NAT yield of donors in developing countries in Asia where the prevalence of infection is higher. In addition, data on hepatitis B virus (HBV) NAT in high prevalence areas are minimal. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: A total of 5083 whole-blood donors at the Chiang Mai University Hospital, Thailand, blood bank were evaluated with a commercially available NAT assay (Procleix Ultrio, Gen-Probe, Inc.) to screen individual donations. RESULTS: No NAT yield cases were found for HIV-1 or HCV. There were 17 samples with discrepant HBV DNA NAT and hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) tests, however. Seven of these were HBV DNA NAT-positive, HBsAg-negative; of these 7, 1 was NAT-positive at baseline, but negative on follow-up, and considered a false-positive, 1 had an acute infection, and 5 had chronic prevalent HBV infections, for a NAT yield of 6 in 4798 HBsAg negative donors (1:800). In addition there were 10 NAT-negative, HBsAg-positive serum samples. All were anti-hepatitis B core antigen immunoglobulin G-positive; on testing with a more sensitive NAT target capture assay, 5 were positive (1.8-20.6 IU/mL) and 5 were negative. CONCLUSION: Multiplex NAT screening of individual-donor serum samples in Northern Thailand detected approximately 1 per 800 HBV NAT-positive, HBsAg-negative donors. The especially high prevalence of HBV infection in Thailand and other Asian countries suggests that HBV NAT screening of donors will be more cost-effective than in other areas.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy