Prevalence of HTLV I/II and sociodemographic factors in donors from a blood bank in Valledupar, Colombia

Published: 7 December 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/4czxphbtv3.1
Elia Fragoso Amaya, Daira Mercedes Martinez Pedroza,


It is estimated that in the world there are between 15 and 25 million people infected with HTLV types I and II, and that 90% correspond to asymptomatic carriers, with seroprevalence rates that vary from one place to another. Both retroviruses are found in high- and low-risk populations, with different prevalence figures, which vary in relation to the group, the year of study and the geographical region. Much of the seroprevalence studies of this infection worldwide have been carried out in blood banks; The causative agent(s) and medical significance of the undetermined status of HTLV-I/II are currently unclear. Several possible explanations have been suggested, including: cross-reactivity with other infectious agents, contagion with defective HTLV-I particles, infection with new retroviruses that have high homology with HTLV-I, and spread with HTLV-I in individuals who have viral loads that are below the scope of the methods used for their detection. For many adults this infection can be fatal, since it has the capacity to cause cancer (leukemia) and sometimes it can be in the body and not manifest itself, but it can be transmitted through blood transfusion. The objective of this work was to establish the seroprevalence of antibodies against HTLV I/II and the sociodemographic characteristics through descriptive statistical analysis of the data recorded in the donor database of a blood bank in Valledupar during the year 2018 – 2020. Descriptive observational quantitative study, in which the seroprevalence of 48,657 donors was analyzed. The prevalence of HTLV I/II in the donors was estimated taking into account their origin in Valledupar and the department of Cesar in general, estimating that they contributed 41.75% and 30.10% of the reactive cases respectively. Regarding blood donors, a greater frequency of the male gender was observed with 75.06% between the ages of 19 to 24 years, these donors being voluntary and habitual. Among the donors who went to the blood bank, it was analyzed that 93.08% had social security. On the other hand, this study showed that donors between 61 and 65 years old obtained a minimal participation (1.08%) in the years studied. In the years studied, seroprevalence was varied; In 2018 the prevalence was 41.75%, in the period of 2019 and 2020 a prevalence of 29.13% was maintained. The seroprevalence obtained of HTLV I/II infection in blood donors in the study years was 0.21%, highlighting that in 2018 the prevalence was higher. However, the seroprevalence percentage obtained with respect to the number of donors is minimal in relation to the population studied. However, knowing the epidemiological situation of these retroviruses in all these populations could influence decision-making at the public health level to implement efficient prevention, diagnosis and medical care schemes for people infected by HTLV I/II.



Universidad de Santander


Health Sciences