Transfusion 2016 8 25() doi 10.1111/trf.13759
The frequency of positive test results for transfusion-transmitted infections (TTIs) among blood donors is an important index of safety; thus, appropriate monitoring is critical, particularly when there are changes in policies affecting donor suitability.
STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS
Testing algorithms from three large blood systems were reviewed and consensus definitions for a surveillance-positive result for hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV) established. In addition, information on each donation, including donor demographics and location, was collected. Combined data were analyzed to characterize the epidemiology of TTIs by person, place, and time.
Data from 14.8 million donations were collected for 2011 to 2012, representing more than 50% of the US blood supply. Surveillance-positive rates per 10,000 donations were as follows: HBV, 0.76; HCV, 2.0; HIV, 0.28; and HTLV 0.34. Rates did not vary between the 2 years, although there was variation within a year. With the exception of HTLV, rates were higher among males, and all rates were higher among first-time donations. Window-period donations (those positive only in nucleic acid tests) were infrequent (HBV, 13; HCV, 60; HIV, 14) during the 2-year period. Frequencies of surveillance-positive results varied by donor age and residence location.
We demonstrated that standardized data from multiple major US blood systems can be combined and analyzed for change. However, TTI frequencies are low, impacting their sensitivity to change. Furthermore, observed fluctuations in TTI frequencies may be secondary to changes in blood donor demographics rather than necessarily reflecting the immediate impact of policy modification.