Background: The human T-cell lymphotropic/leukemia virus (HTLV) was button down in 1980
by Poiesz et al. HTLV are a group of human retroviruses that are known to cause a type of
cancer called adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) and also a demyelinating disease called
HTLV-1 associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). There are four main
types of HTLV, thus, HTLV-I, HTLV-II, HTLV-III and HTLV-IV. About 10-20 million people
are infected with HTLV I and II across the globe. The main modes of transmission of the virus is
by mother to child (through breastfeeding), sexual intercourse, sharing of infected needles among
drug users and lastly by blood transfusion. HTLV-I and II mostly infect CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells
respectively. Reported seroprevalence of HTLV among Ghanaian blood donors over the past ten
years is between the ranges of 0.5%-4.2%. Blood donors in Ghana and Africa as a whole are still
not screened for HTLV-I and II since the report of the discovery of the virus. This therefore
serves as a risk factor for transmitting the virus to blood recipients through infected blood.
Aim: To determine the prevalence of HTLV-I and II antibodies among blood donors at the
national blood service, Ghana.
Methods: The research design was a descriptive prospective cross sectional study involving 300
consecutive voluntary blood donors from the southern area blood centre of the National Blood
Service, Ghana (NBSG). The study used stored (-20˚C) sera separated from 3ml of blood
samples obtained from voluntary blood donors at the National Blood Service, Ghana (NBSG)
who had consented to join the study orally by writing and who had been proven to be in good
health to donate. HTLV-I and II antibodies were duplicately screened for using an enzyme linked
immunosorbent assay as a screening test. A well structured questionnaire was also administered
to the voluntary blood donors to obtain some basic information such as age, gender, marital
status, occupation and their frequency of donating blood. The statistical software SPSS version
20 was used to generate the descriptive analysis of the results obtained.
Results: With the total 300 voluntary blood donors sera samples tested, 10(3.3%) were positive
for anti-HTLV-I/II. The ages of the donors ranged between 18-59 years. The majority
104(34.7%) of the donors were in the age range of 25-31 years, and the age range with the least
number of donors was 53-59 years 5(1.7%). Three females (3.8%) were infected out of 78(26%)
while 7(3.2%) out of 222(74.0%) males were infected. Majority of the donors were single
200(66.7%) and 6(3.0%) out of the total unmarried donors 200(66.7%) tested positive while
96(32.0%) were married and 4(4.2%) of them were infected. Two hundred (66.7%) of the total
participants of the study were first time donors and none (0.0%) of those were infected while
34(11.3%) were frequent donors with more than 3 blood donations had 7(20.6%) of them testing
Conclusion: This study therefore reports an HTLV-I/II seroprevalence of 3.3%. The findings of
this study implies that, HTLV-I/II occurs among apparently healthy voluntary blood donors at
the southern area blood centre of the national blood service Ghana. Thus, there’s the need to
conduct a nationwide large population based research on the same HTLV-I/II infection among
voluntary blood donors so as to determine or ascertain the exact prevalence and then determine
whether to screen for the virus or not among blood donors.
Edu, F (2021). Human T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus Type I AND II (HTLV-I/II) Infection Among Blood Donors AT THE NATIONAL BLOOD SERVICE (NBSG); IMPLICATION FOR BLOOD DONOR Exclusion. Afribary.com: Retrieved April 17, 2021, from https://afribary.com/works/human-t-cell-lymphotropic-virus-type-i-and-ii-htlv-i-ii-infection-among-blood-donors-at-the-national-blood-service-nbsg-implication-for-blood-donor-exclusion
Frontiers, Edu. "Human T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus Type I AND II (HTLV-I/II) Infection Among Blood Donors AT THE NATIONAL BLOOD SERVICE (NBSG); IMPLICATION FOR BLOOD DONOR Exclusion" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 07 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/human-t-cell-lymphotropic-virus-type-i-and-ii-htlv-i-ii-infection-among-blood-donors-at-the-national-blood-service-nbsg-implication-for-blood-donor-exclusion . Accessed 17 Apr. 2021.
Frontiers, Edu. "Human T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus Type I AND II (HTLV-I/II) Infection Among Blood Donors AT THE NATIONAL BLOOD SERVICE (NBSG); IMPLICATION FOR BLOOD DONOR Exclusion". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 07 Apr. 2021. Web. 17 Apr. 2021. < https://afribary.com/works/human-t-cell-lymphotropic-virus-type-i-and-ii-htlv-i-ii-infection-among-blood-donors-at-the-national-blood-service-nbsg-implication-for-blood-donor-exclusion >.
Frontiers, Edu. "Human T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus Type I AND II (HTLV-I/II) Infection Among Blood Donors AT THE NATIONAL BLOOD SERVICE (NBSG); IMPLICATION FOR BLOOD DONOR Exclusion" Afribary.com (2021). Accessed April 17, 2021. https://afribary.com/works/human-t-cell-lymphotropic-virus-type-i-and-ii-htlv-i-ii-infection-among-blood-donors-at-the-national-blood-service-nbsg-implication-for-blood-donor-exclusion