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