Journal Article

Transfusion-Transmitted Malaria in Countries Where Malaria Is Endemic: A Review of the Literature from Sub-Saharan Africa

Alex K. Owusu-Ofori, Christopher Parry and Imelda Bates

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 51, issue 10, pages 1192-1198
Published in print November 2010 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online November 2010 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/656806
Transfusion-Transmitted Malaria in Countries Where Malaria Is Endemic: A Review of the Literature from Sub-Saharan Africa

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Although international policies recommend that blood for transfusion should be screened for transfusiontransmitted infections, malaria screening is not performed in most malaria-endemic countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Our literature review identified 17 relevant studies from the period 1980–2009 and indicated that the median prevalence of malaria among 33,029 blood donors was 10.2% (range, 0.7% in Kenya to 55.0% in Nigeria). Malaria screening methods, including microscopy (used in 16 of 17 studies), are either insensitive or impractical for donor screening in resource-poor countries. Even if a suitable screening method were available, rejection of malaria-positive donors would jeopardize the blood supply. Only 1 study established the prevalence of parasitemia among transfusion recipients. This review highlights the need for more evidence about the clinical impact of transfusion-transmitted malaria to justify the policy of screening for blood for malaria in areas of endemicity and for a critical analysis of the feasibility of implementing such a policy and its effect on blood supply.

Journal Article.  3858 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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