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  • Oral presentation
  • Open Access

Comparison of human T cell leukemia virus-1/2 (HTLV-1/2) screening assays in South America: Implications in the loss of blood units

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Retrovirology201411 (Suppl 1) :O16

  • Published:


  • Leukemia
  • Health Care System
  • Cell Leukemia
  • Initial Diagnosis
  • Screening Test

Although the detection of HTLV antibodies became mandatory in Argentinean blood banks since 2005, there is no recommendation on how to perform the screening. As a consequence, there is a variable number of HTLV false positives depending on the kit used. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the performance of six commercial screening tests available currently for the initial diagnosis of HTLV-1/2 infection in South America. The positive panel included 14 HTLV-1 and 13 HTLV-2 samples confirmed by WB (HTLV-1/2 MP Diagnostics). The negative panel included 233 samples analysed with Architect (n=47), Diapro (n=46), MP (n=45), Murex (n=47) and Serodia (n=48), collected in 5 different institutions in a period of one up to 10 consecutive days. All of them were confirmed by n-PCR. The sensitivity for all HTLV diagnostic kits was 100.0%. The most specific test was Serodia (PA) (99,1%; 2/233), followed by the ELISAs: Celquest (98.3%, 4/233), Murex (97.8%; 5/233), MP and Architect (97.4%; 6/233), and Diapro (93,1%; 16/233). According to this data, 2 to 16 blood units out of 233 should have been discarded due to false positive results in a period of 10 days. This data must be considered when choosing the assays, not only to obtain an optimal efficiency on HTLV-1/2 diagnosis, to increase the number of potential blood units and to decrease the circulation of anxious individuals without a final result, but also to lower the overall cost-benefits of the diagnosis in the health care system.

Authors’ Affiliations

Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas en Retrovirus y SIDA (INBIRS). Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Cátedra de Inmunología, Facultad de Bioquímica, Química, Farmacia y Biotecnología, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina
Área Serología, Fundación Hemocentro Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Servicio de Hemoterapia, Sanatorio Municipal “Dr. Julio Méndez”, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Banco de Sangre Central de la Provincia de Misiones, Posadas, Misiones, Argentina
Sanatorio Adventista del Plata, Libertador San Martín, Entre Ríos, Argentina
Servicio de Hemoterapia, Hospital Alemán, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Laboratorio de Referencia de Enfermedades Transmisibles “Centro E. Coni”, Mendoza, Argentina
Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad Nacional del Nordeste, Corrientes, Argentina


© Pataccini et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.