Research Article

Prevalence of hepatitis A viral RNA and antibodies among Chinese blood donors

Published: December 09, 2015
Genet. Mol. Res. 14 (4) : 16431-16437 DOI: 10.4238/2015.December.9.13

Abstract

Like other developing countries, China was reported to have a relatively high seroprevalence of anti-hepatitis A antibodies (anti-HAV). However, no studies have evaluated the prevalence of anti-HAV and HAV RNA among voluntary blood donors with or without elevated serum alanine transaminase (ALT) levels. Anti-HAV antibodies were detected using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction was carried out for detection of HAV RNA. In the current study, we analyzed a total of 450 serum samples with elevated ALT levels (≥40 U/L) and 278 serum samples with non-elevated ALT levels. Seroprevalence rates of anti-HAV were 51.6% in donors with elevated ALT and 41.4% in donors with non-elevated ALT; however, none of the samples was positive for HAV RNA. The results of our study showed lower seroprevalence rates of anti-HAV in blood donors (irrespective of ALT levels) than those in published data on Chinese populations. Although donors with elevated ALT had statistically higher prevalence rates of anti- HAV than did those with non-elevated ALT, none of the serum samples had detectable levels of the active virus. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that the transmission of hepatitis A by blood transfusion will occur rarely.

Like other developing countries, China was reported to have a relatively high seroprevalence of anti-hepatitis A antibodies (anti-HAV). However, no studies have evaluated the prevalence of anti-HAV and HAV RNA among voluntary blood donors with or without elevated serum alanine transaminase (ALT) levels. Anti-HAV antibodies were detected using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction was carried out for detection of HAV RNA. In the current study, we analyzed a total of 450 serum samples with elevated ALT levels (≥40 U/L) and 278 serum samples with non-elevated ALT levels. Seroprevalence rates of anti-HAV were 51.6% in donors with elevated ALT and 41.4% in donors with non-elevated ALT; however, none of the samples was positive for HAV RNA. The results of our study showed lower seroprevalence rates of anti-HAV in blood donors (irrespective of ALT levels) than those in published data on Chinese populations. Although donors with elevated ALT had statistically higher prevalence rates of anti- HAV than did those with non-elevated ALT, none of the serum samples had detectable levels of the active virus. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that the transmission of hepatitis A by blood transfusion will occur rarely.