Prevalence of blood-borne viral infections (cytomegalovirus, human herpesvirus-6, human herpesvirus-7, human herpesvirus-8, human T-cell lymphotropic virus-I/II, human retrovirus-5) among blood donors in Latvia
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The identification of blood-borne viral infections is important in transfusion medicine. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of human herpesvirus (HHV) [cytomegalovirus (CMV), HHV-6, HHV-7 HHV-8] and human retrovirus (HRV) (human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV)-I/II, HRV-5) infections among apparently healthy Latvian blood donors. DNA extracted from peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) of 150 individuals was tested for herpesviruses by sensitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique. None of the blood donors was positive for HHV-8 infection, while the incidence of latent β-herpesvirus infections was high: single infection by CMV, HHV-6, and HHV-7 was detected in 2.6%, 8.0%, and 43.3% of blood donors, respectively. Simultaneous dual and triple infections of these viruses were observed in 28.0% and 4.7% of individuals, respectively. Active infection by CMV and HHV-6 was not found, but HHV-7 DNA was present in plasma of 10.6% of the blood donors. While all blood donors were HTLV-II and HRV-5 negative, 4.6% of HTLV-I seronegative blood donors were positive for the HTLV-I tax gene, although none of them harbored sequences for structural genes of the provirus.
Based on our results, we conclude that monitoring of β-herpesvirus infections in blood donors can be important in cases of transfusions to immunocompromised persons. HHV-8, as well as the retroviruses HTLV-II and HRV-5, were not found in blood of Latvian blood donors. More investigations are required to explain the presence of the HTLV-I tax sequence in seronegative blood donors.
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