Introduction: Syphilis is one of the known transfusion-transmissible infections and causes 100,000 deaths yearly, with around 90% of these deaths occurring in the developing world. Little data is available regarding the prevalence of syphilis among Saudi blood and stem cell donors. We conducted a survey on the incidence of syphilis among all blood and stem cell donors.

Methods: This study was conducted at the Prince Sultan Military Medical City in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in the 10 years period data during 2006-2015. Data were analyzed about full history, physical examination, age, sex, weight, profession, marital status, number of the donations, data of last donation, having a relation who received blood transfusion, as well as the screening test results of the donated blood. We determined the seroprevalence of infection and compared by sex and other variable through frequency analysis, Chi square, Fisher, and prevalence ratios.

Results: Approximately 240,000 blood donors were screened and studied in the period of study. Most of the blood donors were male (98.3%) and 89% of them were citizens of Saudi Arabia. According to our findings, we estimated that, in the last 10 years, approximately 0.044% of all the blood donors were syphilis positive cases. No cases were detected as positive for syphilis among stem cell donors. Only 60 blood donors tested positive for syphilis. In addition, we studied 202 stem cell transplant donors during the same period, of which 59% were male and none texted positive for syphilis.

Conclusions: A concerted effort between the government, health care providers, regulatory bodies and accreditation agencies have all contributed in eliminating the risk of spreading syphilis among blood donors.


Keywords: Transfusion-transmissible infection, Blood Donor, Stem cell donor, Saudi Arabia, Syphilis
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