Malaria seroprevalence in blood bank donors from endemic and non-endemic areas of Venezuela|
Contreras, Carmen Elena; de Donato, Marcos; Rivas, María Ana; Rodulfo, Hectorina; Mora, Robert; Batista, María Eulalia & Marcano, Norka
In Venezuela, a total of 363,466 malaria cases were reported between 1999-2009. Several states are experiencing malaria epidemics, increasing the risk of vector and possibly transfusion transmission. We investigated the risk of transfusion transmission in blood banks from endemic and non-endemic areas of Venezuela by examining blood donations for evidence of malaria infection. For this, commercial kits were used to detect both malaria-specific antibodies (all species) and malaria antigen (Plasmodium falciparum only) in samples from Venezuelan blood donors (n = 762). All samples were further studied by microscopy and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The antibody results showed that P. falciparum-infected patients had a lower sample/cut-off ratio than Plasmodium vivax-infected patients. Conversely, a higher ratio for antigen was observed among all P. falciparum-infected individuals. Sensitivity and specificity were higher for malarial antigens (100 and 99.8%) than for antibodies (82.2 and 97.4%). Antibody-positive donors were observed in Caracas, Ciudad Bolívar, Puerto Ayacucho and Cumaná, with prevalences of 1.02, 1.60, 3.23 and 3.63%, respectively. No PCR-positive samples were observed among the donors. However, our results show significant levels of seropositivity in blood donors, suggesting that more effective measures are required to ensure that transfusion transmission does not occur.
seroprevalence - malaria - diagnosis - blood donors