Objective With due attention to the prevalence of thalassemia in Iran and patients’ persistent need for blood intake, this study aimed to inspect contaminations due to repeated blood transfusion which were not sifted out during blood donation. One such contamination is cytomegalovirus infection, which is an important pathogen in immunosuppressive patients or receivers of transplanted organs.
Methods This cross sectional study was conducted on 311 thalassemia patients under the age of 15 years who were receiving blood from Hospitals in Tehran and Noorabad Mamasani. To determine active infection (presence of IgM antibodies) of cytomegalovirus, the ELISA method was used. In addition, 225 healthy people under the age of 15 years were studied as a control group and finally all data were analyzed using SPSS ver. 11.5.
Results 12.9 % of patients were positive from the view point of active infection. Regional separation of patients showed that the patients residing in Tehran are more likely to be contaminated with this virus than patients of other cities.
Conclusions The range of cytomegalovirus active infection in thalassemia patients is high. One reason might be the infected blood intake or immunosuppressant (weakness of immune system) in patients, therefore careful immune care of these patients and negative serologic blood intake with respect to their condition, and also hematic parents (parents with the same blood) are important.