Clinical significance of viral markers testing by ELISA and Individual Donation Nucleic Acid Testing (ID-NAT) for blood screening in blood bank: Single center study in Egypt

The Egyptian Journal of Immunology
Volume 31 (2), April, 2024
Pages: 55 – 60.
Fadia M. Attia1, Ahmed M. Farouk2, and Shaymaa A. Abdelhady1
1Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt.

2Military Medical Academy, Cairo, Egypt.

Corresponding author:
Shaymaa A. Abdelhady, Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt.


Prevention of transfusion-transmitted viral infections and insurance of safe blood transfusion are the main goals of all blood banks worldwide. Despite the high sensitivity and specificity of currently used enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing, viral transmission could still occur during the window period. Introducing viral individual donation nucleic acid testing (ID-NAT) can greatly decrease such risk providing an additional layer in securing blood transfusion. We aimed to assess the clinical significance of viral markers testing by ELISA and ID-NAT for blood screening in the Blood Bank of Suez Canal University Hospital. We studied all donations (2132) collected during a two-months period. Blood donor samples were screened by ELISA and ID-NAT tests for HBV, HCV, and HIV. Serological testing results for HCV by ELISA revealed 2,122 (99.5 %) negative donations compared to 2,131 (99.95 %) negative donations by ID-NAT testing. Of the positive ELISA samples, only one was NAT positive. For HBV ELISA testing, 2,115 (99.2 %) donations were negative, also by ID-NAT testing 2,115 (99.2 %) donations were HBV DNA negative. Out of the negative ELISA samples, two samples were ID-NAT reactive donors which were missed by serology assay being in the window period. HIV ELISA testing revealed negative 2,130 (99.9 %) donations while ID-NAT testing showed 2,131 (99.95 %) negative donations and one positive donation. In conclusion, this is the first study carried out in the Suez Canal and Sinai region, Egypt to assess the importance of ID-NAT implementation. The introduction of ID-NAT in blood banks is an effective method for increasing safety of the blood transfusion.

HIV, HBV, HCV, Nucleic Acid Amplification Test, ELISA.

Date received:
17 August 2023; accepted: 24 February 2024



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