|Year : 2015 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 181-182
Seroprevalence of coinfections among blood donors in tertiary health care centre of Jammu region
M Dogra, A Dogra, M Sidhu, U Kotwal
Immunohematology and Blood Transfusion Medicine, Department of Transfusion Medicine, Government Medical College , Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir, India
|Date of Submission||05-Dec-2013|
|Date of Acceptance||27-Mar-2014|
|Date of Web Publication||5-Jan-2015|
Immunohematology and Blood Transfusion Medicine, Department of Transfusion Medicine, Government Medical College , Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Dogra M, Dogra A, Sidhu M, Kotwal U. Seroprevalence of coinfections among blood donors in tertiary health care centre of Jammu region. Indian J Med Microbiol 2015;33:181-2
|How to cite this URL:|
Dogra M, Dogra A, Sidhu M, Kotwal U. Seroprevalence of coinfections among blood donors in tertiary health care centre of Jammu region. Indian J Med Microbiol [serial online] 2015 [cited 2020 May 25];33:181-2. Available from: http://www.ijmm.org/text.asp?2015/33/1/181/148425
Transfusion of blood and blood products, although being a life-saving measure [Figure 1], still has far-reaching consequences as far as the morbidity and mortality resulting from the transfusion of infected blood is concerned. With every unit of blood, there is a 1% chance of a transfusion-associated problem including TTIs.  HIV, HBV and HCV have been known to coexist in an individual. These three viruses have similar mode of transmission, although efficiency of transmission differs. Concurrent infection with HBV or HCV in HIV-infected individuals leads to interaction between all these viruses thus altering the natural history and the treatment response of these diseases. At a molecular level also, interactions between HIV and hepatic viruses may potentiate HIV replication but clinical studies have been inconclusive.  Therefore, to assess the seroprevalence of these coinfections among healthy blood donors at potential risk is essential.
The present study was done in the Department of Transfusion Medicine, GMC Jammu, which is a tertiary health care centre over a period of 2 years (January 2010 to December 2011) to analyze the prevalence of coinfections among blood donors, both voluntary and replacement. During this period 50,446 blood donors were screened for the routine 5 TTI's as laid down by the drug and cosmetic act. Screening for HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C was done using III generation ELISA kit while syphilis and malaria were screened using rapid kits. The total number of seroreactive cases were noted and those with a combination of >=2 TTIs were labelled as coinfection. Among the total 50,446 blood donors 14279 (28.30%) were voluntary and 36167 (71.70%) were replacement. Total seropositive cases were 879 (1.74%) among 50,446 donations. Seroprevalence of coinfection (>=2 TTIs) was 0.68% among the 879 total seropositive cases and was 0.01% among the total blood donors screened for the 2 years, with maximum being in age group of 30-40 years. Four donors out of the total 6 donors (66.66%), who were seroreactive for 2 or more infections, were the replacement type of donors and thus, the difference with voluntary donors was significant. (P < 0.005). Similar results were shown by Kour et al. 
Among HIV-seropositive donors, there was one seroreactive case for HCV (16.66%). Among HIV-seronegative donors, two donors were seroreactive for both HbsAg and HCV (33.33%) each, 2 for both HCV and VDRL (33.33%), 1 for both HbsAg and VDRL (16.66%). The prevalence of coinfection in replacement donors is always higher than voluntary donors (P < 0.005). Jain et al., estimated the seroprevalence of Hepatitis virus in patients infected with HIV and found that 9.9% of patients were HbsAg positive, 6.3% were HCV positive and 1% had dual infection with HCV and HBV.  Mathai found coinfection among 10 donors (0.03%) out of 31942 donors screened over a 6-year period.  In a similar study done by Kour et al., in 2010, 23 (0.05%) of the total 42 439 blood donors had coinfection. 
Many factors favour coinfections including high degree of epidemiological similarity between HIV and hepatitis viruses with similar routes of transmission, risk factors and higher prevalence with other STDs such as syphilis. So testing for syphilis is used as a surrogate marker for lifestyles known to be associated with a high risk of transmitting HIV and hepatitis. Compared to those who are only infected with HIV, coinfected individuals are at greater risk of hepatic toxicity following treatment with antiviral drugs, and their survival is also much lower. A study in India showed that one-third of deaths in HIV infection are directly or indirectly related to HCV infection.  Therefore, it is of utmost importance to screen the donors for all the TTIs and to know the rates of these coinfections among otherwise healthy blood donors at risk of transmitting these TTIs.
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