To determine the prevalence of hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the serum of cornea donors who had been previously screened by social and medical history by the Eye Bank of Canada, Ontario Division.
A retrospective examination of the donor records of the Eye Bank of Canada, Ontario Division, was conducted. A total of 3,228 records were examined covering the period from May 17, 1993 to May 31, 1996.
The prevalence of HBV was determined to be 0.25%, HCV, 0.93%; and HIV, 0.031%.
The data revealed that despite the use of medical and social history to prescreen, a small percentage of prescreened donors test serologically positive. A comparison of the prevalence of HBV, HCV, and HIV in the prescreened cornea donors to a similarly screened cohort of blood donors over a similar time period reveals a higher prevalence in all three diseases in the cohort of cornea donors. An examination of the demographic characteristics of the population as a whole versus the three groups with confirmed serology failed to show a significant difference between the seropositive and seronegative groups. This study confirms the value and necessity of serologic prescreening of cornea donors as is currently the standard of practice.