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Biologicals. 2010 Jan;38(1):59-64. doi: 10.1016/j.biologicals.2009.10.015. Epub 2010 Jan 15.

Nucleic acid testing (NAT) in high prevalence-low resource settings.

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  • 1Shabrawishi Hospital Blood Transfusion Center, Finni Square, Dokki, Giza, Egypt. elekiaby@tedata.net.eg


Blood screening by NAT for major transfusion transmitted viral infections (TTIs) was originally intended to complement serology for detection of infected donations. Reports from developed countries showed limited marginal value to NAT blood screening in improving blood safety. Reports on NAT results from Europe indicated yield of 1:0.6 million donations for HBV, <1:M for HCV and HIV-1-related to low prevalence of TTI. In contrast, prevalence of TTI in resource-limited countries is almost always high. As a result, more incident cases can be expected among first-time blood donors. Most reports of NAT blood donation screening in these countries showed NAT confirmed yield as high as 1/2800 for HBV and 1/3100 blood donations for HCV as reported from Thailand and Egypt, respectively. The issues for low resource countries are mostly the high cost of NAT but also the requirements of staff qualification, adequate facilities, reagent procurement and maintenance of delicate equipment. Alternatives to commercial NAT are the use of combos antigen-antibody for HIV and HCV, anti-HBc for HBV and in-house NAT. Most of these alternatives have been reported but very few comparisons are available. Once yield data is available, models for estimation of feasibility and cost-effectiveness are proposed to help decision-making.

Copyright 2009 The International Association for Biologicals. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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