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Is seroprevalence of HTLV-I/II among blood donors in Lebanon relevant?

  • Hala Tamim
    Affiliations
    From Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Sciences,a Department of Family Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center,b Medical Lab Technology, Faculty of Health Sciences,c American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon; College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Bahraind; Makassed General Hospital, Beirut, Lebanone; Blood Bank, Amel Mountain Hospital, Tyr, Lebanonf; Islamic Hospital, Tripoli, Lebanong; Hammoud Hospital, Sidon, Lebanonh; and Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicinei, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanoni
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  • Umayya Musharrafieh
    Affiliations
    From Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Sciences,a Department of Family Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center,b Medical Lab Technology, Faculty of Health Sciences,c American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon; College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Bahraind; Makassed General Hospital, Beirut, Lebanone; Blood Bank, Amel Mountain Hospital, Tyr, Lebanonf; Islamic Hospital, Tripoli, Lebanong; Hammoud Hospital, Sidon, Lebanonh; and Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicinei, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanoni
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  • Sami Ramia
    Affiliations
    From Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Sciences,a Department of Family Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center,b Medical Lab Technology, Faculty of Health Sciences,c American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon; College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Bahraind; Makassed General Hospital, Beirut, Lebanone; Blood Bank, Amel Mountain Hospital, Tyr, Lebanonf; Islamic Hospital, Tripoli, Lebanong; Hammoud Hospital, Sidon, Lebanonh; and Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicinei, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanoni
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  • Wassim Y Almawi
    Affiliations
    From Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Sciences,a Department of Family Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center,b Medical Lab Technology, Faculty of Health Sciences,c American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon; College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Bahraind; Makassed General Hospital, Beirut, Lebanone; Blood Bank, Amel Mountain Hospital, Tyr, Lebanonf; Islamic Hospital, Tripoli, Lebanong; Hammoud Hospital, Sidon, Lebanonh; and Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicinei, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanoni
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  • Tamima Al-Jisr
    Affiliations
    From Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Sciences,a Department of Family Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center,b Medical Lab Technology, Faculty of Health Sciences,c American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon; College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Bahraind; Makassed General Hospital, Beirut, Lebanone; Blood Bank, Amel Mountain Hospital, Tyr, Lebanonf; Islamic Hospital, Tripoli, Lebanong; Hammoud Hospital, Sidon, Lebanonh; and Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicinei, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanoni
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  • Tanios Ayoub
    Affiliations
    From Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Sciences,a Department of Family Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center,b Medical Lab Technology, Faculty of Health Sciences,c American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon; College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Bahraind; Makassed General Hospital, Beirut, Lebanone; Blood Bank, Amel Mountain Hospital, Tyr, Lebanonf; Islamic Hospital, Tripoli, Lebanong; Hammoud Hospital, Sidon, Lebanonh; and Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicinei, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanoni
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  • Malak Nabulsi-Majzoub
    Affiliations
    From Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Sciences,a Department of Family Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center,b Medical Lab Technology, Faculty of Health Sciences,c American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon; College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Bahraind; Makassed General Hospital, Beirut, Lebanone; Blood Bank, Amel Mountain Hospital, Tyr, Lebanonf; Islamic Hospital, Tripoli, Lebanong; Hammoud Hospital, Sidon, Lebanonh; and Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicinei, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanoni
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  • Hassan Kazma
    Affiliations
    From Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Sciences,a Department of Family Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center,b Medical Lab Technology, Faculty of Health Sciences,c American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon; College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Bahraind; Makassed General Hospital, Beirut, Lebanone; Blood Bank, Amel Mountain Hospital, Tyr, Lebanonf; Islamic Hospital, Tripoli, Lebanong; Hammoud Hospital, Sidon, Lebanonh; and Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicinei, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanoni
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  • Elizabeth Kfoury Baz
    Correspondence
    Reprint requests: Elizabeth M. Kfoury Baz, MD, Blood Bank Medical Director, American University of Beirut Medical Center, P.O. Box 11-0236, Beirut, Lebanon. Hala Tamim, PhD, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut Medical Center, PO Box 11-0236, Beirut, Lebanon.
    Affiliations
    From Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Sciences,a Department of Family Medicine, American University of Beirut Medical Center,b Medical Lab Technology, Faculty of Health Sciences,c American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon; College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Bahraind; Makassed General Hospital, Beirut, Lebanone; Blood Bank, Amel Mountain Hospital, Tyr, Lebanonf; Islamic Hospital, Tripoli, Lebanong; Hammoud Hospital, Sidon, Lebanonh; and Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicinei, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanoni
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      Abstract

      Human T-cell lymphtropic virus type I (HTLV-I) is associated with certain hematologic and neurologic disorders. Seroprevalence studies demonstrated that the distribution of HTLV-I is heterogeneous worldwide and not specific to 1 region. Because blood is one of the major routes of transmission of the virus, blood banks of several countries routinely screen all blood donations for HTLV-I. The aim of the present study was to assess the seroprevalence rate of HTLV-I/II antibodies among Lebanese blood donors. Between August 2001 and March 2002, consecutive blood samples of 3529 blood donors were collected at blood banks of 4 major hospitals in Lebanon. Initial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) screening resulted in 23 (0.7%) positive samples, of which 12 (0.3%) were reconfirmed positive by ELISA. Further analysis by Western blot resulted in 2 (0.06%) positive samples, of which 1 tested positive for HTLV-I by PCR (0.028%). Although its very low prevalence among Lebanese blood donors does not support routine screening of Lebanese blood donors for HTLV-I, screening of blood donors from other nationalities may be exercised, especially those from HTLV-I endemic areas.
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