Author(s): Mbanya D, Mbanya D
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Abstract Blood safety in sub-Saharan Africa is jeopardized by multiple and diverse factors, including the predominance of high-risk family/replacement donors and the high prevalence of transfusion-transmissible infections (TTIs). Thus, stringent diagnostic strategies are vital. Western blotting is costly and technically demanding, and nucleic acid testing technologies, which have been reported to reliably reduce the rate of TTI, are not available in resource-limited settings. Therefore, there is a need for reliable and affordable testing alternatives in these settings. Rapid diagnostic testing has been widely adopted in developing countries, but, for effectiveness in blood safety, highly sensitive tests and the strict selection of low-risk blood donors are indispensable. Although the pre-serological window period remains a source of residual risk for transmission of TTIs during blood transfusion, the combination antigen-antibody rapid tests could contribute significantly to shortening the window period. Thus, despite its limitations, rapid diagnostic testing continues to contribute significantly to blood safety, as a cost-effective means of enhancing screening for TTIs and reducing their transmission in resource-limited rural settings. © 2013 The Author Clinical Microbiology and Infection © 2013 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.
This article was published in Clin Microbiol Infect
and referenced in Journal of Blood Disorders & Transfusion