One-year experience of nucleic acid technology testing for human immunodeficiency virus Type 1, hepatitis C virus, and hepatitis B virus in Thai blood donations

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Blood donations collected at the National Blood Center, the Thai Red Cross Society, Bangkok, in 2007 were tested by nucleic acid amplification technology (NAT) using the Chiron TIGRIS/Procleix Ultrio test and the Roche cobas s 201/cobas TaqScreen multiplex (MPX) test.


The sensitivity, specificity, and robustness were determined by testing 486,676 seronegative blood donations. Samples from each day of collection were divided into two sets; the odd-numbered samples were tested individually on the TIGRIS and the even-numbered samples were tested in pools of 6 on the cobas s 201. The status of reactive samples was confirmed by duplicate testing of samples from the plasma bag to calculate the test specificity. Reactive samples were tested on the alternate system and followed up.


The analytical sensitivity of both systems met the 95% limits of detection claimed by the respective package inserts. No cross contamination was seen with either system. Test specificity was 99.93 and 99.90% for the Procleix Ultrio and cobas TaqScreen tests, respectively. The NAT yield rates for human immunodeficiency virus Type 1 (HIV-1), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and hepatitis B virus (HBV) were 1:97,000, 1:490,000, and 1:2800, respectively. Several occult HBV donors, the majority of whom were detected by both tests, were also identified. The HIV-1 and HCV window cases were detected with both tests.


The performances of the systems and tests indicated that both were acceptable for routine NAT by the National Blood Center, the Thai Red Cross Society. However, the Procleix Ultrio test appeared to be less sensitive than the cobas TaqScreen test for HBV.

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