Transfusion-transmitted Syphilis in Teaching Hospital, Ghana

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Owusu-Ofori, Alex K. ; Parry, Christopher M. ; Bates, Imelda (2011)
  • Publisher: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Journal: Emerging Infectious Diseases, volume 17, issue 11, pages 2,080-2,082 (issn: 1080-6040, eissn: 1080-6059)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3201/eid1711.110985, pmc: PMC3310592
  • Subject: blood transfusion | screening | Letters to the Editor | bacteria | teaching hospital | syphilis | Ghana | enzyme immunoassay | prevalence | transfusion-transmitted syphilis | wh_460 | wc_160 | serodiagnosis | Treponema pallidum | sub-Saharan Africa

Transfusion transmitted syphilis has been scarcely reported in medical literature in recent decades. In this study conducted in a teaching hospital where donated blood is not screened for syphilis, paired blood samples were obtained from two hundred units of blood and from the recipients of these blood transfusions. Recipients who were later found to have received blood that was sero-positive for syphilis were recalled for follow up examination and testing. The prevalence of syphilis sero-positivity in donated blood was 8.0% (95% CI 4.3-11.7%) and the prevalence in transfusion recipients before transfusion was 13.5% (95% CI 8.3-17.7%). One recipient, an 8 year old girl who had received blood that had been stored for only one day, was found to have sero converted. \ud In areas with high syphilis prevalence and inadequate blood supply, such that prolonged refrigeration is not feasible, the risk for transfusion transmitted syphilis is high and screening should continue.
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