Transmission of hepatitis C virus by anti-HCV-negative blood transfusion. Case report

Vox Sang. 1995;68(1):55-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1423-0410.1995.tb02546.x.


Acute posttransfusion hepatitis C was reported in a recipient of 3 units of red cells. The recipient became acutely icteric 6 weeks after transfusion, and HCV infection was diagnosed. Stored serum samples of the 3 implicated donations, which were negative with ELISA-2, were retested by PCR and 3rd-generation antibody tests. One implicated donation was PCR positive, but anti-HCV negative. Both other donations were negative in all tests. The donor was recalled to the Blood Bank 13 weeks after the implicated donation and was found to be ELISA-3 plus RIBA-3 positive. Eight months after the implicated donation, the donor is still PCR and RIBA-3 positive, whereas the recipient became PCR negative but remained anti-HCV RIBA-3 positive. The case shows that blood products from donors collected during the open window period of an HCV infection can transmit HCV to recipients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hepacivirus / immunology
  • Hepacivirus / physiology*
  • Hepatitis Antibodies / blood*
  • Hepatitis C / transmission*
  • Hepatitis C Antibodies
  • Humans
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Transfusion Reaction*


  • Hepatitis Antibodies
  • Hepatitis C Antibodies
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase