Prevalence of transfusion-transmitted infections in multiple blood transfusion-dependent thalassemic patients in Asia: A systemic review
International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology. 2022;36:3946320221096909
BACKGROUND Thalassemia is a hereditary hemolytic anemia marked by a defect in synthesizing one or more globin chains in hemoglobin. In Pakistan, approximately 10,000 patients with thalassemia are primarily dependent on blood transfusions. The β-thalassemia patients require blood transfusions and iron chelation therapy. Patients who need blood transfusions are at an increased risk of contracting transfusion-transmitted infections (TTIs) such as hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV and HCV, respectively), as well as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). OBJECTIVE This systemic review aims to assess the prevalence of TTIs in transfusion-dependent β-thalassemia patients in Asia. METHODS The data for the systematic review were gathered from PubMed, Google Scholar, the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ), and ScienceDirect using the following keywords: "prevalence, HBV, HCV, HIV, thalassemia, and transfusion-transmitted infections (TTIs)," and so on. This review includes the research articles that address the prevalence of viral infections in thalassemic patients following blood transfusion. RESULTS A preliminary search of various databases identified 231 potential studies. 157 duplicate studies were eliminated, and the eligibility of 59 full-length articles was determined. Only 43 studies met the inclusion criteria. Among the 43 studies analyzed, 11 reported a high prevalence of HCV alone in thalassemic patients, while 21 reported a high prevalence of HCV and HBV infection in thalassemic patients. Eight studies reported the prevalence of all three TTIs examined, namely, HCV, HBV, and HIV, in patients with transfusion-dependent thalassemia. CONCLUSION Preventable transfusion-transmitted infections occur frequently, and robust national policies and hemovigilance are required to detect and mitigate the infection risk.
Prevalence of Transfusion Transmissible Infections in Beta-Thalassemia Major Patients in Pakistan: A Systematic Review
β-thalassemia major (TM) is one of the most prevalent inherited hemoglobinopathies in Pakistan. It has one of the highest prevalence of transfusion-dependent TM patients globally, with an estimated greater than 100,000 active cases. Blood transfusions (BT) are essential in the management of severe TM; it is critical to have a safe BT to reduce the risk of transfusion transmissible infections (TTIs). Frequent blood transfusions in these patients increase their risk of acquiring TTIs compared to the general population. We performed a systematic literature search to identify studies related to the TTIs and transfusion-related infections in Pakistan from January 1, 2010, to January 31, 2020. The search was conducted using PubMed and PakMediNet, with initial search retrieved 981 studies. Among these, 166 studies met the inclusion criteria, and only 14 studies met the final criteria for qualitative synthesis. Analysis of 14 studies (n = 3786) showed the seroprevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) of 3.13% (0.66% to 7.4%) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) of 26% (5.56% to 68.2%). There were only two studies that reported HIV seroprevalence of 0% and 0.5% (n = 6). The rate of seropositivity for HBV and HCV was directly related to the number of transfusions, higher ferritin levels, and older age groups. There was an increase in the HCV rate with the increasing age of patients. Thalassemia patients, who were older than ten years of age, had an HCV rate of 22% compared to only 8.4% in patients younger than ten years of age. A comparison of HCV in healthy donors vs. thalassemia patients showed a rate of 1.9% vs. 13.1% for TM patients. The majority of the patients were males (51% to 88%). The seroprevalence of TTIs was higher in males than in females (73.4% vs. 26.6%). On average, a single TM patient is exposed to at least 17 different donors annually, requiring 1-2 transfusions every month. Our study highlights that the prevalence of transfusion-transmitted infections, especially HCV, is alarmingly higher (26%) in the TM population than in the general population. There is limited data regarding the prevalence of HIV, syphilis, and malaria in this population. This is mainly due to a fragmented system of blood transfusion, weak regulations, and lower rates of voluntary blood donations. These findings warrant better health measures to improve the blood donation system and specialized care for TM patients.
Lack of knowledge about hepatitis C infection rates among patients with inherited coagulation disorders in countries under the Eastern Mediterranean Region Office of WHO (EMRO): a meta-analysis
Beta-Thalassemia major (TM) patients in Pakistan (14 studies, n = 3786).
Systematic review to identify studies related to transfusion transmissible infections (TTIs) and transfusion-related infections in Pakistan.
Analysis of the included studies showed the seroprevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) of 3.13% and hepatitis C virus (HCV) of 26%. Two studies reported HIV seroprevalence of 0% and 0.5%. The rate of seropositivity for HBV and HCV was directly related to the number of transfusions, higher ferritin levels, and older age groups. There was an increase in the HCV rate with the increasing age of patients. A comparison of HCV in healthy donors vs. thalassemia patients showed a rate of 1.9% vs. 13.1% for TM patients. On average, a single TM patient is exposed to at least 17 different donors annually, requiring 1-2 transfusions every month.
Hepatitis Monthly. 2012;12((4):):244-52.
CONTEXT Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a public health problem. HCV alone is responsible for 90% cases of acute hepatitis among multiply transfused patients who are at risk of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). OBJECTIVES To provide a clear picture of available data, we performed a systematic review of the epidemiological characteristics of HCV infection among patients with inherited coagulation disorders in the countries under the Eastern Mediterranean Region Office (EMRO). EVIDENCE ACQUISITION Meta-analysis was carried out on the basis of results of electronic and manual search. This analysis included studies in English, French, and Persian that met with the following criteria: (1) appropriate study design: cross-sectional, case-control, and cohort; (2) studies reporting HCV prevalence according to enzyme immune assay; (3) studies in which the sample population was enrolled from EMRO countries. According to the results of the heterogeneity tests, we used fixed-effect/random-effect model for our meta-analysis, with the Metancommand. RESULTS We included 30 studies, most of which were from Iran. The mean age of the subjects ranged from 13 to 27.1 years. The majority of the patients were male (range, 81% to 100%). The pooled estimate of HCV infection among patients with inherited coagulation disorders was 48.07% (95% confidence interval [CI], range: 27.39-55.68) in Iran, 36.03% (95% CI, range: 4.466-67.598) in Pakistan, and 48.27% (95% CI, range: 36.12-60.43) in all the EMRO countries taken together. CONCLUSIONS In Iran and other EMRO countries, the HCV infection rate among patients with inherited coagulation disorders is high. Our study shows that there is a lack of knowledge about infections in such patients in most of the EMRO countries. It is the responsibility of health-policy makers to address this knowledge gap and provide safe and adequate treatment for patients in high-risk groups.