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New technique shortens virus detection time

Update: April, 26/2016 - 18:00
Blood screening through NAT techniques at a laboratory at the National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion in Hà Nội. — VNS Photo Thanh Hải
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI (VNS) —The National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion (NIHBT) today announced it would officially apply nucleic acid testing (NAT) in the blood screening process.

NAT techniques will reduce the risk of HIV, hepatitis infections and increase safety in blood transfusions.

Institute director Nguyễn Anh Trí said NAT techniques would help shorten the window periods in HIV, Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV) detection.

“It helps detect the HCV virus after 30-40 days of exposure (down from 90 days). The HBV virus can be detected in 20-30 days (saving 30 days) and the HIV virus can be detected in 11 days (saving 11 days),” Trí said.

“NAT technique helps provide accurate results and contributes to shortening the window periods in virus detection. The technique will ensure blood transfusion safety and provide a timely and safe blood source to hospitals,” the institute’s director said.

The director said NIHBT was the first medical facility in Việt Nam to provide all blood products screened by NAT techniques in 2015. The technique was also applied at the HCM City Haematology and Blood Transfusion and the Chợ Rẫy and Cần Thơ hospitals in the south.

In 2018, NAT techniques will be expanded to all hospitals and medical units nationwide that receive donated blood to ensure a safe blood source for the entire population.

The institute’s statistics revealed Việt Nam received over 1.16 million units of blood from donors in 2015. NAT techniques helped detect 442 infected samples from among nearly 418,000 samples that showed negative results through serological techniques. — VNS

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