Published online Jul 21, 2007. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v13.i27.3730
Revised: January 8, 2007
Accepted: January 10, 2007
Published online: July 21, 2007
AIM: To evaluate the prevalence of markers of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among blood donors in Kolkata, Eastern India for two consecutive years and to conduct a pilot study to explore the presence of HBV DNA among hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) negative but anti-HBc positive blood donors.
METHODS: Seroprevalence of HBsAg, anti-HCV and anti-HIV was studied among 113 051 and 106 695 voluntary blood donors screened in 2004 and 2005, respectively. Moreover, a pilot study on 1027 HBsAg negative donors was carried out for evaluating the presence of HBV DNA by PCR on HBsAg negative/anti-HBc positive donors.
RESULTS: A statistically significant increase in the prevalence of HBV (1448 vs 1768, P < 0.001), HIV (262 vs 374, P < 0.001), HCV (314 vs 372, P = 0.003) and syphilis (772 vs 853, P = 0.001) infections was noted among blood donors of Kolkata West Bengal in 2005 as compared to 2004. Moreover, the exploratory study on 1027 HBsAg negative donors revealed that 188 (18.3%) of them were anti-HBc positive out of which 21% were positive for HBV DNA.
CONCLUSION: The findings of this study underscore the significantly increasing endemicity of hepatitis viruses, syphilis and HIV among the voluntary blood donors of our community. The pilot study indicates a high rate of prevalence of HBV DNA among HBsAg negative/anti-HBc positive donors and thus emphasizes the need for a more sensitive and stringent screening algorithm for blood donations.