Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




The West Nile virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus causing different forms of infection among humans, varying from asymptomatic illness to fetal central nervous system infection. Turkey lies within an endemic region for WNV. Transfusion of infected blood products is another well-documented major route of transmission. The aim of our study was to investigate the presence of WNV viremia among a healthy donor population from the western part of the country. Materials and methods: A total of 438 healthy volunteer blood donors were included in the study. The presence of WNV RNA was investigated by quantitative real-time reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and anti-WNV IgG was detected by a commercial ELISA test. Results: Ages of volunteer donors were 18-62 years (mean: 34.7) and 34 (7.76%) were women. All samples were negative for WNV RNA by qRT-PCR. Eleven (2.51%) samples, 1 of which was borderline, were positive for anti-WNV IgG. All positive samples were from the western part of the country and 9 of them were from İzmir. Conclusion: Although all donor samples were negative for WNV RNA by qRT-PCR, the risk of WNV transmission via blood products should not be ignored in endemic regions.


West Nile virus, blood donors, quantitative real-time PCR

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