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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 46  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 65-69

Seropositive coronavirus disease 2019 detection among apparently healthy voluntary blood donors: a preliminary step to catch asymptomatic cases as a potential viral spread route

1 Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Ain-Shams University, Cairo, Egypt
2 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, MUST, Cairo, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Mariam K Youssef
47 Osman Ebn Affan Street, Heliopolis, Cairo, 11361/11736
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ejh.ejh_59_20

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Background Despite the prevailing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019, there are no recommendations available yet for serological screening of apparently healthy asymptomatic blood donors for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) antibodies. Objective To explore the seropositivity for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in serum samples of a group of randomly selected Egyptian voluntary blood donors who met the eligibility criteria for blood donation as a preliminary step to catch apparently healthy asymptomatic participants who constitute an important source of viral spread in the community. Patients and methods The first phase of our study design plan included 100 anonymous serum samples of a group of voluntary blood donors who donated blood at Ain-Shams University Hospitals’ blood bank during the period from the second week of September to the end of October 2020. After completion of the steps of donation, donors’ stored serum samples were screened for SARS-CoV-2-specific immunoglobulin (Ig)M and IgG antibodies. The next phase of our study design plan is intended to include larger samples of known apparently healthy asymptomatic blood donors in an attempt to reach seropositive patients to confirm the results by PCR and validate the testing. Results A total of 100 anonymous serum samples were included in the study. Eleven (11%) samples were reactive for viral specific IgM antibodies, and 38 (38%) samples were reactive for viral specific IgG antibodies. Conclusion As the ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 is continuing to demand urgent attention, screening of all asymptomatic apparently healthy voluntary blood donors for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies followed by viral RNA detection by PCR in seropositive donors could abort viral spread to others in blood centers and eventually to the rest of the community.

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