Risk factors for Hepatitis C virus infection among blood donors in Georgia

Nickolas Zaller, Kenrad E. Nelson, Malvina Aladashvili, Nino Badridze, Carlos Del Rio, Tengiz Tsertsvadze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Growing awareness about the importance of blood safety for controlling the transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV) has helped to decrease the spread of this virus in many settings. This study was conducted in order to evaluate potential risk factors for HCV infection among blood donors in Georgia. Methods: The study population consisted of 553 blood donors in three major Georgian cities; Tbilisi, the capital city and Batumi and Poti, naval port cities. Risk factors were examined using a behavior questionnaire. All blood samples were initially tested using 3rd generation anti-HCV enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and confirmed using recombinant immunoblot assays and nucleic acid testing. Results: Forty-three blood donors, 7.8%, were confirmed HCV positive. Significant risk factors included: drug injection ever (OR: 42; 95% CI: 3.2-550.7); history of hepatitis (OR: 25.9; 95% CI: 4.6-145.5); history of a previous surgical procedure (OR: 148.4; 95% CI: 26.9-817.4); blood transfusion (OR: 25.9; 95% CI: 3.2-210.9). Conclusions: This study found a very high prevalence of HCV among blood donors in Georgia. The main risk factor for HCV infection in this population of blood donors was previous contact with contaminated blood or blood products. Reliable screening of donors and their blood is critical for controlling the further spread of HCV in Georgia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-553
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Epidemiology
Volume19
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2004

Keywords

  • Blood donors
  • Georgia
  • Hepatitis C
  • Injection drug use
  • Transfusion-transmitted infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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