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PLoS One. 2016 Jun 16;11(6):e0157615. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0157615. eCollection 2016.

Prevalence and Trends of Transfusion-Transmissible Viral Infections among Blood Donors in South of Iran: An Eleven-Year Retrospective Study.

Author information

Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, School of Medicine, Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, Bushehr, Iran.
Persian Gulf Tropical Medicine Research Center, Bushehr University of Medical Sciences, Bushehr, Iran.
Bushehr Blood Transfusion Organization, Bushehr, Iran.
Research Center for Biochemistry and Nutrition in Metabolic Diseases, Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran.
Reproductive Health and Midwifery Department, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahroud University of Medical Sciences, Shahroud, Iran.



Blood transfusion is considered a potential risk factor for transmission of life-threatening viral infections, including HIV, HCV and HBV infections. This study was performed to find out the prevalence and trends of these infections among blood donors in Southern Iran.


The blood donor data recorded in twelve regional blood transfusion centers from 2004 to 2014 were analyzed in an anonymous way with respect to the results of serological screening for HBV, HCV, and HIV infections. Overall, 293454 donors were screened for viral infections.


Most of the donors were male, married, aged between 20-40 years, educated, and regular donors. The overall seroprevalence rates of HBV, HCV and HIV were 0.15%, 0.1% and 0.004%, respectively. The highest seroprevalence was found for HBV, followed by HCV and HIV. These infections were more prevalent in male, low educated and first time donors. The highest HCV seroprevalence was observed among donors aged 20 to 40 years, while HBV seroprevalence increased with age. The seroprevalence rates of HBV and HCV from 2004 to 2014 showed significant decreasing trends from 0.460% to 0.060% (P < 0.001) and 0.329% to 0.045% (P < 0.001), respectively. Whereas HIV infection had a slight but not significant decline from 0.0173% in 2004 to 0.0028% in 2014 (P = 0.087).


The decreasing trends of transfusion-transmissible viral infections in blood donations indicate that the attempts of IBTO were successful in improving the safety of the blood supply, since the prevalence rates of viral infections have been reduced to very low levels in blood donations over the years. However, still more effective techniques such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are needed to guarantee blood safety.

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