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Study of prevalence of seropositivity in multi-transfused thalassemia patients A hospital based study

Neerja H Shah, Atul Shrivastav, Ukti Bhavsar, Ashok S Agnihotri.

Background: Thalassemia is an inherited hemoglobinopathy for which blood transfusion is an obligatory treatment. However, blood transfusion has its own adverse effects among which transfusion transmitted infections (TTIs) are major threat to the patients.

Objective: To evaluate the seroprevalence of various TTIs in thalassemia patients. It also aims to correlate age group and prevalence of TTIs.

Materials and Methods: In this study, a total of 55 beta thalassemia major patients attending C U Shah Medical College, Surendranagar, Gujarat, India, were screened for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 and HIV-2 IgG and IgM antibodies, hepatitis C virus (HCV) IgG antibody, HBsAg antigen, and IgG antibodies against Treponema pallidum using National AIDS Control Organization approved third generation enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits. Selected clinical, sociodemographic, and other characteristics were also recorded to understand the determinants of risks of these infections.

Result: It was observed that of the total 55 patients, 2 (3.63%) were HIV reactive, 20 (36.36%) were HCV reactive, and none was found to be hepatitis B virus or venereal disease research laboratory reactive.

Conclusion: To reduce the incidence of TTIs, especially HCV and HIV, stringent screening of donor should be done with fourth generation ELISA methods, polymerase chain reaction, or nucleic acid amplification techniques.

Key words: Thalassemia, blood donors, transfusion transmitted infections, ELISA

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