In this issue, Owusu‐Ofori and colleagues describe the use of rapid tests to screen potential blood donors for transfusion‐transmitted diseases at a regional teaching hospital blood bank in Kumasi, Ghana. The authors report on the predonation testing of potential blood donors for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and hepatitis B surface antigen before blood donation. Blood was subsequently collected only from donors who screened negative; pooled postdonation plasma samples were retested for HIV, hepatitis B virus (HBV), and HCV by nucleic acid amplification methods. In their study, the authors report that more than 16 percent of their tested potential donors reacted with one or more viral markers and could be prevented from donating blood. The author's suggestion of pooled nucleic acid testing as an adjunct to donor screening with rapid tests is an unusual and interesting algorithm, one that would be difficult to implement in many developing countries because of technologic issues and resource limitations. The authors argue, however, that there are a number of theoretical advantages to this strategy in areas of high endemicity for HIV, HBV, and HCV such as sub‐Saharan Africa. The stated advantages include savings on the cost of blood collection
Transfusion – Wiley
Published: Feb 1, 2005
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