Jpn. J. Infect. Dis., 56, 165-167, 2003
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Prevalence of Antibodies to Syphilis among Blood Donors in Accra, Ghana
Andrew Anthony Adjei*, William Kudzi1, Henry Armah, Theophilu Adiku2, Albert George Baidoe Amoah3, Justina Ansah4
Department of Pathology, 1Centre for Tropical Clinical Pharmacology, 2Department of Microbiology and 3Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, University of Ghana Medical School and 4National Blood Transfusion Service, Accra, Ghana
(Received May 1, 2003. Accepted August 29, 2003)
*Corresponding author: Mailing address: Department of Pathology, University of Ghana Medical School, P.O. Box 4236, Accra, Ghana. Tel: +233-21-661302, Fax: +233-21-668286, E-mail: email@example.com
SUMMARY: Several infectious diseases have been found to be associated with transfusion of blood and blood components. Reports from studies conducted in many African countries indicate a high incidence of blood-borne pathogens such as syphilis infections among healthy blood donors. The prevalence of syphilis antibodies in blood donors in Ghana is not known. This study was therefore conducted in order to determine the prevalence of antibodies to syphilis among blood donors seen between the months of January and March 2003 at the National Blood Transfusion Service, Accra area (Blood Bank) at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana. The presence of antibodies specific for syphilis was tested using Veneral Disease Research Laboratory and particle agglutination test kit. A sero-prevalence rate of 7.5% was found. Our sample of blood donors was largely comprised of male subjects (500 out of 536 donors, and only 1 out of the 36 screened female donors was positive), making sex comparisons statistically undesirable. In both sexes, the age distribution of subjects positive for syphilis antibodies was from 19 - 54 (median age, 32) years. In conclusion, our results indicate that syphilis is prevalent among healthy blood donors in Ghana, and that there is a need to introduce the screening of donated blood for syphilis in Ghana.
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