+1 Recommend
0 collections
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Article: found
      Is Open Access

      Hepatitis B Virus Blood Screening: Need for Reappraisal of Blood Safety Measures?

      Read this article at

          There is no author summary for this article yet. Authors can add summaries to their articles on ScienceOpen to make them more accessible to a non-specialist audience.


          Over the past decades, the risk of HBV transfusion–transmission has been steadily reduced through the recruitment of volunteer donors, the selection of donors based on risk-behavior evaluation, the development of increasingly more sensitive hepatitis B antigen (HBsAg) assays, the use of hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc) screening in some low-endemic countries, and the recent implementation of HBV nucleic acid testing (NAT). Despite this accumulation of blood safety measures, the desirable zero risk goal has yet to be achieved. The residual risk of HBV transfusion–transmission appears associated with the preseroconversion window period and occult HBV infection characterized by the absence of detectable HBsAg and extremely low levels of HBV DNA. Infected donations tested false-negative with serology and/or NAT still persist and derived blood components were shown to transmit the virus, although rarely. Questions regarding the apparent redundancy of some safety measures prompted debates on how to reduce the cost of HBV blood screening. In particular, accumulating data strongly suggests that HBsAg testing may add little, if any HBV risk reduction value when HBV NAT and anti-HBc screening also apply. Absence or minimal acceptable infectious risk needs to be assessed before considering discontinuing HBsAg. Nevertheless, HBsAg remains essential in high-endemic settings where anti-HBc testing cannot be implemented without compromising blood availability. HBV screening strategy should be decided according to local epidemiology, estimate of the infectious risk, and resources.

          Related collections

          Most cited references 96

          • Record: found
          • Abstract: found
          • Article: not found

          Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) levels in the natural history of hepatitis B virus (HBV)-infection: a European perspective.

          The quantifiable level of HBsAg has been suggested as a predictor of treatment response in chronic hepatitis B. However, there is limited information on HBsAg levels considering the dynamic natural course of HBV-infection. This study aimed to determine HBsAg levels in the different phases of HBV-infection in European HBsAg-positive patients. 226 HBV-monoinfected patients, not undergoing antiviral therapy, were analyzed in a cross-sectional study. Patients were categorized according to the phase of HBV-infection: HBeAg(+) immune tolerance phase (IT, n=30), immune clearance phase (IC, n=48), HBeAg(-) low-replicative phase (LR, n=68), HBeAg(-) hepatitis (ENH, n=68), and acute hepatitis B (n=12). HBsAg was quantified and correlated with HBV-DNA, HBV-genotypes and clinical parameters. In addition, 30 LR-patients were followed longitudinally. HBsAg levels were higher in IT-patients and IC-patients compared to LR-patients and ENH-patients (4.96/4.37/3.09/3.87-log(10)IU/ml, p 2000IU/ml) showed >3-fold higher baseline HBsAg levels with a NPV of 95% for an HBsAg cut-off of 3500IU/ml. HBsAg levels show significant differences during the natural course of HBV-infection and between HBV-genotypes. These findings may have important implications for understanding the natural history of HBV-infection and for using quantitative HBsAg as a diagnostic tool, i.e. as a marker for predicting HBV-reactivation.
            • Record: found
            • Abstract: found
            • Article: not found

            Nucleic acid testing to detect HBV infection in blood donors.

            The detection of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in blood donors is achieved by screening for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and for antibodies against hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc). However, donors who are positive for HBV DNA are currently not identified during the window period before seroconversion. The current use of nucleic acid testing for detection of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA and HBV DNA in a single triplex assay may provide additional safety. We performed nucleic acid testing on 3.7 million blood donations and further evaluated those that were HBV DNA-positive but negative for HBsAg and anti-HBc. We determined the serologic, biochemical, and molecular features of samples that were found to contain only HBV DNA and performed similar analyses of follow-up samples and samples from sexual partners of infected donors. Seronegative HIV and HCV-positive donors were also studied. We identified 9 donors who were positive for HBV DNA (1 in 410,540 donations), including 6 samples from donors who had received the HBV vaccine, in whom subclinical infection had developed and resolved. Of the HBV DNA-positive donors, 4 probably acquired HBV infection from a chronically infected sexual partner. Clinically significant liver injury developed in 2 unvaccinated donors. In 5 of the 6 vaccinated donors, a non-A genotype was identified as the dominant strain, whereas subgenotype A2 (represented in the HBV vaccine) was the dominant strain in unvaccinated donors. Of 75 reactive nucleic acid test results identified in seronegative blood donations, 26 (9 HBV, 15 HCV, and 2 HIV) were confirmed as positive. Triplex nucleic acid testing detected potentially infectious HBV, along with HIV and HCV, during the window period before seroconversion. HBV vaccination appeared to be protective, with a breakthrough subclinical infection occurring with non-A2 HBV subgenotypes and causing clinically inconsequential outcomes. (Funded by the American Red Cross and others.).
              • Record: found
              • Abstract: not found
              • Article: not found

              International survey on NAT testing of blood donations: expanding implementation and yield from 1999 to 2009.


                Author and article information

                Front Med (Lausanne)
                Front Med (Lausanne)
                Front. Med.
                Frontiers in Medicine
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                21 February 2018
                : 5
                1Department of Blood-Transmitted Pathogens, National Transfusion Infectious Risk Reference Laboratory, National Institute of Blood Transfusion , Paris, France
                Author notes

                Edited by: Christoph Niederhauser, Transfusion Interrégionale CRS SA, Switzerland

                Reviewed by: Thierry Burnouf, Taipei Medical University, Taiwan; Anton P. Andonov, National Microbiology Laboratory, Canada

                *Correspondence: Daniel Candotti, dcandotti@

                Specialty section: This article was submitted to Hematology, a section of the journal Frontiers in Medicine

                Copyright © 2018 Candotti and Laperche.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 102, Pages: 10, Words: 9148


                Comment on this article