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Ann Clin Lab Sci. 2014 Winter;44(1):62-6.

Evaluation of infectious disease markers in multitransfused Egyptian children with thalassemia.

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  • 16 Hussein Elezaby st, from Higazy, Cairo Alexandria desert road, Cairo, Egypt; phone: 0112-01001549621; fax: 011202-23689683; e mail: eimanhussein@ymail.com.


In an attempt to evaluate blood supply safety and the potential effect of the screening tests performed in our center, the frequency of hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody, hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibody were evaluated among multi- transfused Egyptian children with thalassemia. Samples from 200 children with β thalassemia were tested for HCV antibody, HBsAg, and HIV-1 and 2 antibodies. ELISA was used for all tests. HCV positive samples were confirmed by RT-PCR. The study included 96 males and 104 females. Their mean age was 9.2±4.5. Forty-eight patients were positive for HCV antibody (24%); all were confirmed positive by PCR. Four HCV-positive patients were also HBsAg-positive. Six patients (3%) were HBsAg-positive. No patient was HIV-positive. Older ages were significantly associated with an increased incidence of positive infectious markers (p<0.05). The frequency of HCV infection is considerably high among Egyptian children with thalassemia. It is therefore important to implement measures to improve blood transfusion screening; nucleic acid testing, which could help reduce transmission of HCV during the window period, should be considered.

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