Trends in prevalence, incidence, and residual risk of major transfusion-transmissible viral infections in United Arab Emirates blood donors: impact of individual-donation nucleic acid testing, 2004 through 2009.
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a heterogeneous population consisting of more than 160 nationalities and 85% of the population being non-UAE. In 2007, Dubai Blood Donation Centre (DBDC), the major local supplier of blood in the UAE, introduced six-minipool nucleic acid test (NAT) for hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which in 2008 upgraded to individual-donation (ID)-NAT. The aim of this study was to analyze the efficacy of the donor screening program in the UAE and evaluate the impact of NAT on the yield and residual risk of transfusion-transmissible viral infections (TTVIs). STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: A total of 169,781 blood donations collected at DBDC between 2004 and 2009 were screened for TTVIs. During the period 2008 through 2009, a total of 59,283 donations were tested with both ID-NAT and serologic assays. The incidence, prevalence, and residual risk for each viral agent were estimated and analyzed. RESULTS: The individual prevalences of HBV, HCV, and HIV per 100,000 donation were 234.4, 110, and 4, respectively. Calculated residual risk per million donations for HBV was decreased from 1.41 in pre-NAT period to 0.92 in post-NAT period. These figures were decreased for HCV and HIV from 1.73 and 0.39 to 0 and 0.32, respectively. CONCLUSION: Incidence rates and estimated residual risk indicate that the current risk of TTVIs attributable to blood donation is relatively low in the UAE. The study recommends the parallel use of both serology and ID-NAT TTVIs screening in blood donations and suggests the exclusion of antibody to hepatitis B core antigen-positive donations as this can eliminate the potential infectivity of these units with marginal effects on the blood stock in UAE.