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Journal of Blood Transfusion
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 154048, 7 pages
Research Article

Prevalence and Incidence of Syphilis among Volunteer Blood Donors in Israel

1Department of Dermatology, Hadassah-Hebrew University Hospital, P.O. Box 12018, Jersalem, Israel
2Brown School of Public Health, Hadassah University Hospital, Jersalem, Israel
3Private Practice, P.O. Box 84027, 90805 Mevaseret Zion, Israel
4Magen David Adom National Blood Services, 52621 Ramat Gan, Israel

Received 26 September 2013; Revised 8 January 2014; Accepted 23 January 2014; Published 22 April 2014

Academic Editor: Rajendra Chaudhary

Copyright © 2014 Leibovici Vera et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Data of 1,290,222 volunteer blood donors, in a 5-year period, was analyzed for prevalence and incidence of syphilis. Subsequent testing of donations positive in Treponema pallidum hemagglutination assay included Venereal Disease Research Laboratory and fluorescent Treponemal antibody absorption. Stepwise logistic regression model was used to identify positive syphilis serology. Prevalence of syphilis was 47 : 100,000, similar in men and women and increased significantly with age (). Native Israelis had the lowest prevalence rate of syphilis (21 : 100,000), while a significantly higher prevalence was found among immigrants from Africa, Eastern Europe, and South America (odds ratios of 19.0, 10.8, and 7.3, resp., for each). About 33.2% of the seropositive donors had evidence of recent infection, and 66.8% had past infections. Incidence rate reached 8 : 100,000 person-years. Coinfection with HIV, HCV, and HBV was calculated as 8%, 1.88%, and 0.37% for positive donations, respectively. The data support the need to continue screening blood donors in Israel for syphilis and employ preventive measures to populations at risk, in order to improve public health, blood safety, and quality. A subsequent study to assess blood donors’ knowledge, attitude, and behavior is planned. In times of global migration this information may be useful to blood services worldwide.