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Open Access Short report

Seroprevalence of HHV-6 and HHV-8 among blood donors in Greece

Marianna Politou1, Dimitrios Koutras2, Georgios Kaparos2, Serena Valsami1, Theodoros Pittaras1, Emmanouil Logothetis2, George Panayiotakopoulos3* and Evangelia Kouskouni2

Author Affiliations

1 Blood Transfusion Department, Aretaieion Hospital, Athens University Medical School, Athens, Greece

2 Microbiology Laboratory ARETAIEION Hospital, Athens University Medical School, Athens, Greece

3 Pharmacology Department, Medical School, University of Patras, Patras, Greece

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Virology Journal 2014, 11:153  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-11-153

Published: 27 August 2014

Abstract

Background

Herpes viruses infection transmitted through healthy but infected blood donors pose a danger to herpes-naive immunocompromised recipients. The risk of transfusion-related HHV-8 transmission is different in endemic and not endemic areas. HHV-6 and HHV-8 seroprevalence and viral load among blood donors have been reported from different countries. The aim of our study was to assess the seroprevalence of HHV-8 and HHV-6 in volunteer blood donors from Greece which is unknown.

Findings

Serum samples from 179 healthy blood donors were tested for the presence of IgG antibodies against HHV-6 and HHV-8 with ELISA. None of the 179 donors of Greek origin tested was positive for HHV-8. HHV-6 seropositivity was assessed in 160 blood donors’ samples and was found to be 78.75% (126/160). The HHV-6 seroprevalence did not differ either between males and females or among different decade age groups.

Conclusions

The fact, that no blood donor was positive for HHV-8 IgG antibodies indicates that the risk for transfusion related HHV-8 transmission in Greece, if any, is negligible and does not warrant broad testing for HHV-8. Definitely further studies are needed, in order to clarify the potential risk of HHV-6 transmission.

Keywords:
HHV-6 seroprevalence; HHV-8 seroprevalence; Blood donors; Greece