Objective: Screening blood donations for anti-HCV is only partially performed in many developing countries due to the relatively high costs of testing. The screening expenditures can be reduced by testing donations in pools. This study evaluates the accuracy and feasibility of pooled screening procedure for anti-HCV in blood banks in Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Methods: The sensitivity and specificity of tests performed on pool sizes of 6-24 samples were compared to singleton immunoassay testing. All negative samples and those positive for anti-HCV were obtained from the routine work of Magen David Adom Blood Services in Israel and Shifa Hospital blood bank in Palestinian Authority. The experiments were run in parallel with different technologies. Results: The sensitivity of pooled-testing for anti-HCV by Magen David Adom was 94-97% for verified samples. In the Shifa Hospital, the sensitivity was estimated as 96-97% for non-verified samples. Cost-analysis showed benefits up to $2 per donation screened for anti-HCV in Shifa Hospital. Conclusions: We recommend using manually created pools of up to 6 samples when testing for anti-HCV, but at the cost of 3% loss in sensitivity. Pooling can be considered, in countries which do not perform routine screening, due to their limited economic resources.
- Blood donors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases