Korean J Blood Transfus.  2001 Dec;12(2):231-236.

Study on Serologic Test for Syphilis as a Surrogate Marker for Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection among Korean Blood Donors

  • 1Blood Transfusion Research Institute and Central Blood Center, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Korean Red Cross, Seoul, Korea.


BACKGROUND: Serologic test for syphilis(STS) is an old traditional donor screening test for preventing transfusion-transmitted syphilis. By conducting STS, history taking for donors and refrigeration of blood, transfusion associated syphilis is very rare at present. This study evaluated the usefulness of the STS as a surrogate marker for preventing the transfusion of human immunodeficiency virus(HIV) via the transfusion of infectious window-period blood in Korean blood donors.
Demographic and laboratory information on blood donations made between January 1997 and December 1998 in 16 Korean Red Cross Blood Centers was analyzed. STS positive rate of 239 HIV-infected people and blood donors in 1999 were investigated.
Of 4,808,297 donations over 2-year period, 3,956 (0.08%) were positive in STS and 40 (0.0008%) were anti-HIV confirmed positive. Of those, two were simultaneously positive for STS and anti-HIV. Among donations, Anti-HIV positive donations were 64 times more likely to be STS positive(odds ratio=63.9) and positive predictive value (PPV) of STS for anti-HIV was 0.05%. Fourteen of 239 HIV-infected people were STS positive.
STS positivity was higher in anti-HIV positive donors, but the PPV of STS for anti-HIV was low. STS as a donor screening test is considered as a poor marker for preventing post-screening HIV infections and the usefulness of STS must be evaluated in its own value.


STS; HIV; Blood Donation; Surrogate marker
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