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Improving the screening of blood donors with syphilis rapid diagnostic test (RDT) and rapid plasma reagin (RPR) in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC)

Sarkodie, Francis, Hassall, Oliver, Owusu-Dabo, E, Owusu-Ofori, S, Bates, Imelda ORCID:, Bygbjerg, I C, Owusu-Ofori, A, Harritshøj, L H and Ullum, H (2017) 'Improving the screening of blood donors with syphilis rapid diagnostic test (RDT) and rapid plasma reagin (RPR) in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC)'. Transfusion Medicine, Vol 27, Issue 1, pp. 52-59.

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Syphilis testing conventionally relies on a combination of non-treponemal and treponemal tests. The primary objective of this study was to describe the positive predictive value (PPV) of a screening algorithm in a combination of a treponemal rapid diagnostic test (RDT) and rapid plasma reagin (RPR) test at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH), Ghana.

From February 2014 to January 2015, 5 mL of venous blood samples were taken from 16 016 blood donors and tested with a treponemal RDT; 5 mL of venous blood was taken from 526 consenting initial syphilis sero-reactive blood donors. These RDT reactive samples were confirmed with an algorithm, applying the Vitros(®) /Abbott-Architect(®) algorithm as gold standard.

A total of 478 of 526 RDT reactive donors were confirmed positive for syphilis, making a PPV of 90·9%. Of the 172 (32·7%) donors who were also RPR positive, 167 were confirmed, resulting in a PPV of 97·1%. The PPV of the combined RDT and RPR (suspected active syphilis) testing algorithm was highest among donors at an enhanced risk of syphilis, family/replacement donors (99·9%), and among voluntary donors above 25 years (98·6%).

Screening of blood donors by combining syphilis RDT and RPR with relatively good PPV may provide a reasonable technology for LMIC that has a limited capacity for testing and can contribute to the improvement of blood safety with a minimal loss of donors.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > Health Problems of Special Population Groups > WA 395 Health in developing countries
WB Practice of Medicine > Diagnosis > General Diagnosis > WB 141 General works
WC Communicable Diseases > Sexually Transmitted Diseases > WC 160 Syphilis
WH Hemic and Lymphatic Systems > Hematologic Diseases. Immunologic Factors. Blood Banks > WH 460 Blood bank procedures
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > International Public Health Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Rachel Dominguez
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2016 11:51
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2019 08:23


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