Background - Blood transfusion centres should understand the epidemiology of emerging diseases that are transmissible through the transfusion of blood components. The risk of transmission of arboviruses through this route has become apparent in recent years. The aim of our study is to summarise the reported prevalence (viraemic rate, seroprevalence and/or antigen detection) of Chikungunya (CHIKV), Dengue (DENV) and Zika (ZIKV) viruses in blood donors according to screening test used and world region.
Materials and methods - We conducted a systematic literature review and meta-analysis having searched for information in the main bibliographic databases (MEDLINE, Embase, and Scopus). The prevalence for each of the viruses was calculated according to the screening test used and geographic location.
Results - We included 18 records on CHIKV, 71 on DENV, and 27 on ZIKV. The highest prevalences of RNA for CHIKV were 1.9% in Puerto Rico (2014), 1.0% in Thailand (2009), and 1.0% in French Polynesia (2014-15). The highest prevalences of RNA for DENV were 5.5% in Saudi Arabia (2015-16), 2.3% in Madeira, Portugal (2012-13), and 0.6% in Brazil (2012). The highest prevalences of RNA for ZIKV were 2.8% in French Polynesia (2013-14), 2.7% in Brazil (2015-16), and 1.8% in Martinique (2016). Overall seroprevalence, as assessed by IgG antibodies, was 21.6% for CHIKV, 24.0% for DENV, and 5.1% for ZIKV.
Discussion - Our study shows a high proportion of donors who are viraemic and asymptomatic, especially during outbreaks, with prevalences surpassing 5% for DENV, 1% for CHIKV, and 2% for ZIKV. These data confirm a clear threat to blood transfusion safety. The elevated seroprevalence for these three arboviruses is also indicative of their wide circulation in populations, correlating with an increased risk of infected but asymptomatic donors. Health centres and institutions must address this threat, especially in tropical regions where the biggest outbreaks occur.
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