Seroprevalence of Syphilis in healthy blood donors of Lahore during year 2016 and 2017; An upcoming problem for Pakistan.
Blood transfusion has been proven as a common cause for contracting infectious diseases with 1.5 million donors each year in Pakistan carrying 1% risk of transfusion transmitted infections. Syphilis is one of them whose seroprevalence has been increasing in recent years. Thus, evaluation of its seroprevalence will give information about current burden of the disease. Objectives: To determine seroprevalence of syphilis among healthy blood donors of Lahore to assess disease burden for year 2016 and 2017. Study Design: Retrospective single centre cross-sectional study. Setting: Tertiary care hospital (Mayo Hospital) in Lahore with a referral base from all over Pakistan but predominantly from the Punjab province. Period: Two years (from January 2016 to December 2017). Material & Methods: The study was based on immune-chromatographic assay of antibodies to Treponema pallidum in human serum using Nantong Egens Syphilis detection Kits. This is a qualitative test and provides rapid screening for syphilis in blood donors. Data was analyzed using SPSS 20 for prevalence study and mathematically for future prediction of its percentage. Results: A total of 76530 blood donors reported in the blood bank in two years. Out of these donors, 1720 were positive for TP antibody showing an overall percentage of 2.25%, 755 were positive in 2016 & 965 in 2017 with their percentages being 2.02% & 2.46% respectively. Conclusion: Percentage of syphilis has increased in year 2016 and 2017. This needs to be reduced by taking preventive measures and education to masses. Further work up of the patients who were TP positive is required.