Antibodies to hepatitis C virus in autologous blood donors

P. T. Conover, C. T. Fang, E. Lam, N. V. Hirschler, J. B. Jackson, R. A. Yomtovian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the major cause of posttransfusion hepatitis. Two anti-HCV enzyme immunoassay (EIA) kits and one recombinant immunoblot assay (RIBA) were used to test serum samples of 1476 donations from 692 autologous blood donors to assess the prevalence of anti-HCV and its relationship to transfusion history. Of all autologous blood donations, 23 (1.6%) reacted when tested with one EIA kit and 29 (2.0%) reacted when tested by the other EIA kit. Of the autologous donors, 12 (1.78%) reacted by the first EIA kit and 14 (2.02%) by the second. Discrepancies in the EIA results from different donations by the same donor were seen in seven donors. The RIBA was positive or indeterminate in 33 percent of the EIA-reactive donations and in 41 percent of EIA-reactive donors. All RIBA-positive and -indeterminate samples reacted with both EIA kits. There was no significant difference in the EIA-reactive rates of autologous and first-time homologous blood donors. Previously transfused autologous blood donors had a higher anti-HCV EIA-reactive rate than nontransfused autologous donors, but the difference was not significant. In regard to hepatitis C, the use of autologous blood for homologous transfusion appears to be as safe as the use of blood from first-time homologous donors. Universal testing of previously transfused patients for hepatitis C appears premature at this time. Discrepant anti-HCV EIA results from different donations from the same individual have implications regarding donor deferral.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)616-619
Number of pages4
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Hematology


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