Open Access Research article

HIV, HBV, HCV and T. pallidum infections among blood donors and Transfusion-related complications among recipients at the Laquintinie hospital in Douala, Cameroon

Carole Else Eboumbou Moukoko12*, Françoise Ngo Sack13, Estelle Géraldine Essangui Same4, Madeleine Mbangue5 and Léopold Gustave Lehman4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of medicine and pharmaceutical sciences, University of Douala, BP 2701 Douala, Cameroon

2 Pole d’Excellence en Epidémiologie du Paludisme, Centre Pasteur du Cameroun, Yaoundé, Cameroon

3 Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Yaoundé Central Hospital, Yaoundé, Cameroon

4 Laboratory of Physiology and Animal Biology, Faculty of science, University of Douala, Douala, Cameroon

5 Blood Transfusion Center, Laquinitinie Hospital, Douala, Cameroon

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BMC Hematology 2014, 14:5  doi:10.1186/2052-1839-14-5

Published: 12 February 2014



Transfusion-transmissible infections (TTIs) pose a major health risk in Cameroon given the high prevalence of such pathogens and increased demands for blood donations in the local communities. This study aims at establishing the prevalence of commonly encountered TTIs among blood donors and transfusion-related complications among recipients in an urban center of Cameroon.


A total of 477 blood donors and 83 blood recipients were recruited by consecutive sampling at the Laquintinie Hospital in Douala (LHD), Cameroon. Serum samples from blood donors were tested by quantitative enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) and/or using various Rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for presence of Hepatits B (HBV) viral antigens, and antibodies to human immunodeficiency (HIV-1/2), Hepatits B (HCV) and Treponema pallidum. Recipient’s medical records were also analyzed for possible transfusion-associated complications.


The male/female sex ratio of the blood donors was 4/1 with a mean age of 30.2 (Sd = 8.3) years. Of all blood donors, 64/467 (13.7%) were infected by at least one of the four TTIs. Infected volunteer donors represented 8.3% while infected family donors comprised 14.3% of the donor population. The prevalence of HCV, HIV, HBV and T. pallidum were 1.3%, 1.8%, 3.5%, and 8.1%, respectively. More than half of the blood recipients were female (78.3%) and the mean age was 20.6 (SD = 16.1) years. The causes of severe anemia indicative of transfusion in recipients varied with wards (postpartum hemorrhage, caesarean section, uterine or cervical lacerations, abortions, urinary tract infections, severe malaria, vaso-occlusive attacks, wounds and gastrointestinal bleeding). The most frequent complications were chills and hematuria, which represented 46.1% of all observed complications. Other complications such as nausea, vomiting, jaundice, sudden diarrhea, anxiety, tachycardia, or hyperthermia were also found in recipients. Three cases of deaths occurred during the study, including a girl of less than one year.


This study confirms the presence of blood-borne infectious diseases in blood donors at the LHD, identifying T. pallidum as the greatest threat to blood safety in the region, and hematuria as the most common immunological complications in blood recipients.

Blood transfusion; HIV; HBV; HCV; T. pallidum; Complications