Serological ineptitude in blood banks: is there an association with sexually transmitted infections?




Serological disability, Seroprevalence, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV, Syphilis, Sexually transmitted infections, Blood


Introduction: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a serious public health problem and some of
these infections are also transmitted through blood transfusions. Objective: To identify publications in
scientific journals in Brazil and in the world, if there is an important association between serological
inadequacy due to sexually transmitted infections traced in blood and blood products used for medical
use. Methods: Systematic review of articles published from 2018 to 2023, using the LILACS, SciELO and

PUBMED databases with a concomitant approach to the issues of serological disability and STI. Original
studies or review articles in Portuguese, English and Spanish with Brazilian and international data were
included. Editorial publications, letter to the editor, letter from the editor or comments on the subject
were excluded. Results: The search found 571 articles, of which 106 (18.40%) met the inclusion criteria,
that is, Serological disability and STI. In studies with international data, the prevalence of donors with
hepatitis C ranged from 0.12% to 4.8%; with hepatitis B from 1.3% to 8.2%; with HIV from 0.0021% to
2.5%; with syphilis from 1.73% to 2.4%; with HTLV 0.66% and with Chagas disease from 0.017% to
2.76%. Among articles with Brazilian data, the prevalence of donors with seroreactive tests for hepatitis
C ranged from 0.18% to 1.76%; with hepatitis B from 0.05% to 7.9%; with HIV from 0.03% to 0.82%; with
syphilis from 0.37% to 3.51%; with HTLV 0.02% to 0.3% and with Chagas disease from 0.8% to
0.5%. Conclusion: STIs are rarely discussed in the scientific literature in studies on serological
inadequacy. In addition, a minority of articles were with Brazilian data. However, results show that STIs,
despite being little discussed in the scientific literature in studies on the subject of serological
inadequacy, have statistically significant percentages of seropositivity for STIs. In addition, hepatitis C
and B have a relevant seroprevalence, reaching 8.2% and 4.8%, respectively, in the international
scenario. In the national, Brazilian scenario, hepatitis B continues to occupy a prominent place with a
seroprevalence of up to 7.9%. However, syphilis now occupies a very important role with a maximum
percentage of 3.51%. More studies are needed for more reflection: although STIs are little addressed in
studies about serological inadequacy in human blood banks, would they be contributors to the
maintenance and non-reduction of the general frequency of infections transmitted by blood


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How to Cite

Morais JS de S, Carvalho LLC, Passos CVL, Passos PVLP, Passos FDL, Guedes AC. Serological ineptitude in blood banks: is there an association with sexually transmitted infections?. DST [Internet]. 2023 Oct. 11 [cited 2024 Jun. 16];35. Available from:



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