Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology
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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 49  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 532-4

Is seroprevalence of HTLV-I/II among blood donors in India relevant?

Department of Transfusion Medicine, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune 411 040

Correspondence Address:
H Kumar
Department of Transfusion Medicine, Armed Forces Medical College, Pune 411 040

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 17183844

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Human T-cell lymphotropic virus type I/II (HTLV-I/II) is associated with certain hematologic and neurologic disorders. Seroprevalence studies demonstrate that the distribution of HTLV-I/II is heterogeneous worldwide and not specific to one region. Because blood is one of the major routes of transmission of the virus, blood banks of several countries routinely screen all blood donations for HTLV-I/II. The aim of the present study was to assess the seroprevalence rate of HTLV-I/II antibodies among Indian blood donors and to confirm the positive rates by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Between Jan 2004 to May 2005, consecutive blood samples of 10,000 blood donors were collected at the blood bank of Armed Forces Medical College, Pune. The samples were screened for HTLV-I/II by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) method. Screening resulted in 18 (0.18%) positive samples, of which 14 (77.8%) samples were also positive by PCR. The prevalence of HTLV-I/II carriers in India seems to be negligible and is not a major public health hazard. Hence, routine screening of Indian blood donors for antibody to HTLV-I/II is not warranted due to its low prevalence in India.

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