Ahmad Mohammed Ashshi is dean, Faculty of Applied medical Sciences at Umm Al Qura University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


Dengue is the most important mosquito-borne viral disease with an estimated 100 million infected cases and 25,000 deaths per year worldwide. It is caused by Dengue virus (DENV), which is a single-stranded RNA virus with five serotypes (DENV-1, DENV-2, DENV-3, DENV-4 and DENV-5). Transfusion safety is of paramount importance to the recipient of blood products. In recent decades, the safety of blood products with regards to the risk of HIV, HBV and HCV infections has increased dramatically; however, emerging infectious diseases still pose new threats and risks to the safety of blood products and transfusions. In this concept, a special attention has recently been paid to the significant role of blood transfusion in the transmission of DENV and/or its antibodies from asymptomatic infected blood donors to recipients. Given the absence of an approved blood screening test for DENV in Saudi Arabia and in response to the new epidemiological situation, the current study was designed to determine the seroprevalence of DENV infection and/or its antibodies among Saudi blood donors. In this study, healthy adult male Saudi blood donors, negative for HIV, HCV and HBV infections and accepted according to the KSA\'s blood donation policy, were screened for DENV-NS1 antigen and IgM and IgG anti-DENV antibodies. The results showed that among the tested donors, 1% showed positivity for DENV-NS1 antigen, 6% were positive for anti-DENV IgM antibody and 7% were positive for anti-DENV IgG antibody. This study provides the first data on seropositivity for DENV and its antibodies among Saudi Arabian blood donors and highlights the importance of establishing quantitative or molecular serological methods for screening for DENV and/or its antibodies inblood donors, so that the quality of blood transfusions is guaranteed and the endemicity of DENV is reduced.

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