Deceased Organ Donor Screening for HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C Viruses: A Survey of Organ Procurement Organization Practices

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Although Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) policy requires that all potential deceased organ donors are screened for human immunodeficiency (HIV), hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV) viruses by serology, no current policy requires the use of nucleic acid testing (NAT) for organ donor screening. An electronic survey was sent to 58 organ procurement organizations (OPO) in the United States to assess current screening practices of potential deceased organ donors. Fifty-seven responses were collected for data analysis; not all respondents answered all questions. All OPOs performed required HIV, HBV and HCV serology screening and 48 (84%) performed confirmatory testing for seropositive donors. Ninety-eight percent, 75% and 97% of OPOs performed prospective HIV, HBV and HCV NAT, respectively. Fifty-two percent and 47% used a transcription-mediated amplification assay for HIV and HCV NAT, respectively. Of the 56 respondents that performed HIV NAT and 55 respondents that performed HCV NAT, 39 tested all donors. Seventeen (32%) OPOs performed confirmatory testing for all HIV-positive NAT results, and 15 (27%) OPOs performed confirmatory testing for all HCV-positive NAT results. Since 2008, the number of OPOs performing NAT has increased and more OPOs are testing all donors.

The authors report the results of a survey describing the practices of 57 organ procurement organizations in screening deceased organ donors for human immunodeficiency and hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses, and the ability of most to use nucleic acid testing for screening.

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