The Prevalence of Positive Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV Serology in Cornea Donors Prescreened by Medical and Social History in Ontario, Canada

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PurposeTo determine the prevalence of hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the serum of cornea donors who had been previously screened by social and medical history by the Eye Bank of Canada, Ontario Division.MethodA retrospective examination of the donor records of the Eye Bank of Canada, Ontario Division, was conducted. A total of 3,228 records were examined covering the period from May 17, 1993 to May 31, 1996.ResultsThe prevalence of HBV was determined to be 0.25%, HCV, 0.93%; and HIV, 0.031%.ConclusionThe data revealed that despite the use of medical and social history to prescreen, a small percentage of prescreened donors test serologically positive. A comparison of the prevalence of HBV, HCV, and HIV in the prescreened cornea donors to a similarly screened cohort of blood donors over a similar time period reveals a higher prevalence in all three diseases in the cohort of cornea donors. An examination of the demographic characteristics of the population as a whole versus the three groups with confirmed serology failed to show a significant difference between the seropositive and seronegative groups. This study confirms the value and necessity of serologic prescreening of cornea donors as is currently the standard of practice.

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