Asian Journal of Transfusion Science
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 10-13

Hepatitis B core antibody testing in Indian blood donors: A double-edged sword!


Department of Transfusion Medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
R N Makroo
Department of Transfusion Medicine, Molecular Biology and Transplant Immunology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, Sarita Vihar, New Delhi - 110 076
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0973-6247.95043

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Background: Until lately, anti-HBc antibodies were considered an effective marker for occult Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and have served their role in improving blood safety. But, with the development of advanced tests for HBV DNA detection, the role of anti-HBc in this regard stands uncertain. Materials and Methods: Anti-HBc and HBsAg ELISA and ID-NAT tests were run in parallel on donor blood samples between April 1, 2006 and December 31, 2010 at the Department of Transfusion Medicine, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi. A positive ID-NAT was followed by Discriminatory NAT assay. Results: A total of 94 247 samples were tested with a total core positivity rate of 10.22%. We identified nearly 9.17% of donors who were reactive for anti-HBc and negative for HBsAg and HBV DNA. These are the donors who are potentially non-infectious and may be returned to the donor pool. Conclusion: Although anti HBc testing has a definite role in improving blood safety, centers that have incorporated NAT testing may not derive any additional benefit by performing anti-HBc testing, especially in resource-limited countries like ours.


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2006 - Asian Journal of Transfusion Science | Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 10th November, 2006