Transfusion transmitted diseases

Indian J Pediatr. 2001 Oct;68(10):951-8. doi: 10.1007/BF02722595.


Transfusion transmitted disease (TTD) is a major challenge to the transfusion services all over the world. The problem of TTD is directly proportionate to the prevalence of the infection in the blood donor community. In India, hepatitis B/C, HIV, malaria, syphilis, cytomegalo virus, parvo-virus B-19 and bacterial infections are important causes of concern. Hepatitis B and C infections are prevalent in India and carrier rate is about 1-5% and 1%, respectively. Post transfusion hepatitis B/C is a major problem in India (about 10%) because of low viraemia and mutant strain undetectable by routine ELISA. HIV prevalence among blood donors is different in various parts of the country. It may not be so alarming as projected by some agencies. In one study from north India, confirmed HIV positivity was found in 0.2/1000 blood donor. Post transfusion CMV is difficult to prevent but use of leukocyte filters may help to reduce it significantly. Parvo virus B-19 infection in blood donors is 39.9% which may increase morbidity in multitransfused or immunocompromised patients. Current symphilis tests may not be sensitive but it should be continued to exclude high-risk donors. Malaria is a real problem for India due to the lack of a simple and sensitive screening test. Incidence of bacterial contamination is greatly reduced due to improved collection/preservation techniques and use of antibiotics in patients. However, proper vigilance and quality control is needed to prevent this problem. Total dependence of altruistic repeat voluntary donors and use of sensitive laboratory tests may help Indian blood transfusion services to reduce incidences of TTDs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Infections / transmission
  • Communicable Diseases / transmission*
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / transmission
  • Filariasis / transmission
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • Hepatitis B / transmission
  • Hepatitis C / transmission
  • Humans
  • Malaria / transmission
  • Parvoviridae Infections / transmission
  • Syphilis / transmission
  • Transfusion Reaction*