Prevalence and associated characteristics of cytomegalovirus (CMV) immunoglobulin antibodies among blood donors at a university teaching hospital in Nigeria

  • RA Bolarinwa
  • E Donbraye
  • AA Ademosu
  • L Salawu


Background: The screening for cytomegalovirus (CMV) specific antibodies is not routine in our setting, thus the transfusion of blood portends high risk for susceptible individuals.
Objective: To determine the prevalence of IgG and IgM specific antibodies and associated characteristics in blood donors seen at a referral teaching hospital in Nigeria.
Design: Prospective, cross-sectional and descriptive study.
Setting: Blood Bank and Serology Unit of the Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals’ Complex, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
Subjects: One hundred and eighty four blood donors negative for human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B and C viruses and syphilis were assessed for their levels of CMV specific IgG and IgM antibodies (AccuDiagTM ELISA, DIAGNOSTIC AUTOMATION INC, USA) using the enzyme linked immunosorbent assay technique (ELISA).
Results: Ninety six percent of the donors were males while those with secondary education and below (61.3%), unmarried (70%), artisans and unemployed including students (82.5%) were in the majority. The prevalence of CMV IgG and IgM antibodies were 97.4% and 52.6%, while CMV IgG antibody range from 94.7% to 100% in all types of donation. All female donors (3.8%) were positive for IgG and IgM antibodies. The level of education of the donors predicts IgM antibody positivity, those with secondary education or less are more likely than others to be positive (p < 0.05; X2 = 15.98). Linear logistic regression showed that male donors and those in the artisan group are more likely to be positive for IgM antibody (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: The prevalence of CMV antibodies is very high (IgG = 97.4%; IgM = 52.6%) in our setting. Donors with low educational status and artisans are more likely to be
IgM positive. Therefore, a more stringent donor selection, adoption of leukodepleted blood and blood products for uninfected patients especially the immuno-compromised and adoption of a national policy on CMV infected blood is advocated. 


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eISSN: 0012-835X