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Background: Transfusion transmitted malaria is undoubtedly a potential health hazard for blood recipients. Egypt is still on the prevention of reintroduction phase of malaria control program. Fayoum Governorate is considered one of the high risk foci due to its geology in Egypt, however no studies have been reported to evaluate the current status of subclinical Plasmodium infection based on sensitive molecular techniques. Moreover, screening of malaria is not listed within screening protocols of blood-borne pathogens in Fayoum blood banks. Objective: To assess the current prevalence of subclinical Plasmodium infection among blood donors of Fayoum inhabitants for transfusion biosafety. To predict if there is any possibility of reemergence of malaria in the governorate and effectiveness of malaria control measures. Methods: A cross sectional survey was conducted on 400 apparently healthy blood-donors in blood transfusion center of Fayoum University hospital from Jun 2012 to Jan 2013. Conventional PCR was used to detect the 18 S ssrRNA Plasmodium gene. Results: All Fayoum inhabitants’ blood donors’ samples were negative for Plasmodium infection. Conclusions: Current applied control and preventive measures are effective in the context of blood transfusion biosafety in Fayoum blood banks and, therefore, the implementation of a routine malaria screening test in Fayoum blood banks is not merited at this time. In light of our study, we can assume that malaria has been successfully eliminated, at present, from Fayoum Governorate. However further comprehensive study is recommended to screen and stratify the results according to age, substantiate the assume eradication of the infection. Regular monitoring is still needed.
Keywords: Malaria, Fayoum, Transfusion biosafety, Plasmodium.
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