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Seroprevalence of human T-cell lymphoma/leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-1) antibodies among blood donors at Enugu, Nigeria

Authors Okoye AE, Ibegbulam OG, Onoh RC, Ugwu NI, Anigbo CS, Nonyelu CE

Received 5 April 2014

Accepted for publication 24 May 2014

Published 19 January 2015 Volume 2015:6 Pages 31—36

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/JBM.S65556

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Augustine Ejike Okoye,1 Obike Godswill Ibegbulam,2 Robinson Chukwudi Onoh,3 Ngozi Immaculata Ugwu,1 Chukwudi Simon Anigbo,2 Charles Emeka Nonyelu2

1Department of Haematology and Immunology, Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria; 2Department of Haematology and Immunology, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH) Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State, Nigeria; 3Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria

Background: Human T-cell lymphotrophic/leukemia virus (HTLV-1) is a retrovirus implicated in transfusion-transmitted infection.
Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of HTLV-1 antibodies among blood donors at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Eastern Nigeria.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out on consented participants over 4 months. A total of 300 blood donors were recruited consecutively from the blood bank. The serum of the collected 5 mL of blood obtained from each participant was stored at -20°C until required for analysis. The serum samples were then analyzed for antibodies to HTLV-1 using a one-step incubation double-antigen sandwich ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) kit. Participants' demographic characteristics and degree of exposure to the risk factors associated with HTLV-1 infection were captured using a questionnaire. Statistical analysis of results was done using SPSS version 17.
Results: Of the 300 blood donors, 288 (96%) were male, while 12 (4%) were female. The average age of the blood donors was 26.85±8.52 years. The age group with the highest representation among the blood donors were those aged between 21 and 25 years. Only 22.3% of the blood donors were above 30 years. None of the 300 screened blood donors tested positive to HTLV-1 antibodies. Hence, the seroprevalence of HTLV-1 infection among blood donors was 0%. Of the blood donors, 5% had history of previous sexually transmitted disease, while 34.7% used condoms during sexual intercourse.
Conclusion: The seroprevalence obtained in this study cannot statistically support the justification of routine screening of blood donors for HTLV-1 infection. More prospective and multicentered studies are required to determine the infectivity of HTLV-1 in blood donors in Nigeria.

Keywords: retrovirus, transfusion, blood-borne infection, screening, Africa

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