A pilot external quality assurance study of transfusion screening for HIV, HCV and HBsAG in 12 African countries. Serologic screening for the major transfusion transmissible viruses (TTV) is critical to blood safety and has been widely implemented. However, actual performance as measured by proficiency testing has not been well studied in sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore, we conducted an external quality assessment of laboratories engaged in transfusion screening in the region. Blinded test panels, each comprising 25 serum samples that were pedigreed for HIV, HBsAg, HCV and negative status, were sent to participating laboratories. The panels were tested using the laboratories' routine donor screening methods and conditions. Sensitivity and specificity were calculated, and multivariable analysis was used to compare performance against mode of testing, country and infrastructure.
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