BACKGROUND: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an important transfusion-transmitted virus with global significance. The objective of this study was to evaluate the HCV prevalence and incidence among Chinese blood donors from 2013 to 2016. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Whole blood and apheresis platelet donations collected from five Chinese blood centers from June 1, 2013, to December 31, 2016, were screened in parallel by two different enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for anti-HIV 1/2, hepatitis B surface antigen, anti-HCV, and syphilis. Screening-reactive samples were further confirmed by western blot. Confirmatory positive rates among first-time and repeat donors were used to estimate the prevalence and incidence rates. Multivariable logistic regression modeling was used to examine factors associated with HCV infection. RESULTS: A total of 1,276,544 donations were collected from five Chinese blood centers, of which an estimated 1203 were confirmed HCV positive. The overall HCV prevalence among first-time donors was 166.56 per 100,000 donors (95% confidence interval, 156.04-177.08). The HCV incidence rate was estimated to be 15.21 (95% confidence interval, 11.83-19.56) per 100,000 person-years among repeat donors. Multivariable logistic regression results showed that increased age, lower educational levels, ethnicity, and occupation were all important factors associated with HCV confirmatory status among first-time donors (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: HCV infection is still an important concern for transfusion safety in China. Our findings indicate that continued strong efforts are needed to monitor and control the risk of transfusion-transmitted HCV infection in China. Moreover, to reduce unnecessary donor loss, HCV donor screening procedures should be improved by incorporating confirmatory testing into routine blood center operations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy