Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Seroprevalence of HIV, HBV, HCV and syphilis infections among blood donors at Gondar University Teaching Hospital, Northwest Ethiopia: declining trends over a period of five years

Belay Tessema157*, Gizachew Yismaw2, Afework Kassu23, Anteneh Amsalu4, Andargachew Mulu2, Frank Emmrich56 and Ulrich Sack56

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medical Laboratory Technology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia

2 Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia

3 Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Department of Medicine, University of Colorado Denver, USA

4 Department of Medical Laboratory Technology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Hawassa, Hawassa, Ethiopia

5 Institute of Clinical Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany

6 Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology, Leipzig, Germany

7 Institute of Medical Microbiology and Epidemiology of Infectious diseases, Faculty of Medicine, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2010, 10:111  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-111

Published: 10 May 2010

Abstract

Background

Transfusion-transmissible infectious agents such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and syphilis are among the greatest threats to blood safety for the recipient. This study aimed to determine the seroprevalence, risk factors and trends of HIV, HBV, HCV and syphilis infections among blood donors over a period of five years at Gondar University Teaching Hospital, Northwest Ethiopia.

Methods

A retrospective analysis of consecutive blood donors' records covering the period between January 2003 and December 2007 was conducted. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine risk factors associated with HIV, HBV, HCV and syphilis infections.

Results

From the total of 6361 consecutive blood donors, 607 (9.5%) had serological evidence of infection with at least one pathogen and 50 (0.8%) had multiple infections. The overall seroprevalence of HIV, HBV, HCV and syphilis was 3.8%, 4.7%, 0.7%, and 1.3% respectively. Among those with multiple infections, the most common combinations were HIV - syphilis 19 (38%) and HIV - HBV 17 (34%). The seropositivity of HIV was significantly increased among female blood donors, first time donors, housewives, merchants, soldiers, drivers and construction workers. Significantly increased HBV seropositivity was observed among farmers, first time donors and age groups of 26 - 35 and 36 - 45 years. Similarly, the seroprevalence of syphilis was significantly increased among daily labourers and construction workers. Statistically significant association was observed between syphilis and HIV infections, and HCV and HIV infections. Moreover, significantly declining trends of HIV, HCV and syphilis seropositivity were observed over the study period.

Conclusions

A substantial percentage of the blood donors harbour HIV, HBV, HCV and syphilis infections. Strict selection of blood donors and comprehensive screening of donors' blood using standard methods are highly recommended to ensure the safety of blood for recipient.