Transfusion-transmissible infections (TTIs) such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Syphilis are among the documented dangers to blood safety for recipients. They are also the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in multi transfused patients.
The aim of this study was to determine prevalence of HIV, Syphilis and HIV/Syphilis co infection in multi-transfused patients.
This cross- sectional study was conducted from January 2020 to January 2021 at Baqai Medical University, Karachi; Fatima Hospital, Karachi and Muhammadi Laboratory and Diagnostic Centre, Numaish, Karachi. A total of 385 multi transfused patients comprising of transfusion dependent beta thalassemia, hemophilia, sickle cell anemia, aplastic anemia, leukemias, chronic renal failure and chronic liver failure of any age and gender were included. Electrochemiluminescence assay was carried out on Cobas e411 analyzer of Roche Diagnostics, Mannheim, Germany for detection of HIV and treponemal antibodies. Reactive samples of syphilis and HIV were confirmed on real time PCR.
Of all multi-transfused patients (N=385): 185 (48.1%), 15(3.9%), 40(10.4%), 32(8.3%),40(10.4%), 12(3.1%), 61(15.8%) were suffering from thalassemia, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, leukemias, chronic liver disease, aplastic anemia and chronic renal failure. Overall, mean age of participants was 25.6 ± 2 years. The prevalence of TTIs, syphilis, HIV and HIV/syphilis co infection in our study population was 5.74%, 4.4%, 1.04%, and 0.3%, respectively. Out of 185/385 cases of thalassemia 7%, 1.1% and 0.5% were positive for syphilis, HIV, and HIV/syphilis coinfection. Among 40/385 cases of hemophilia 2 cases were HIV positive. while out of 61 cases of chronic renal failure 6.6% cases were seropositive for Syphilis. No TTIs were detected in sickle cell anemia, leukemias, chronic liver disease and aplastic anemia patients.
Prevalence of TTIs was found to be high among multi-transfused patients especially in β-thalassemia cases. Most common type of TTI was Syphilis and documentation of HIV in 1.04% cases particularly in thalassemia and hemophilia in the present study is drawing attention towards alarming progress regarding spread of HIV in our region.
Keywords: HIV, Syphilis, HIV/Syphilis coinfection, multi-transfused patients