THURSDAY, Jan. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Among deceased organ donors, there has been an increase in the proportion at increased risk for transmitting hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and HIV to recipients, according to research published in the Jan. 25 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Winston E. Abara, M.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed deceased donor data for 2010 to 2017 reported to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network for increased-risk donors (IRDs) and standard-risk donors (SRDs).

The researchers noted an approximate 200 percent increase in the proportion of IRDs during the period, from 8.9 to 26.3 percent. There was also an approximate 200 percent increase in the percentage of deceased donors with drug intoxication as the mechanism of death, from 4.3 to 13.4 percent. About a 500 percent increase was seen in the proportion of donors with reported injection drug use, from 1.3 to 8.0 percent. IRDs were significantly more likely to have positive HBV and HCV screening results compared with SRDs.

“Identification of risk factors for viral bloodborne pathogen infection among organ donors is nonetheless important so that recipients and their clinicians can be notified and patients can be appropriately screened posttransplant,” the authors write.

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