Article Text

Download PDFPDF
The VDRL test in a blood transfusion service.
  1. R W Beal,
  2. D J Merry


    A survey has been made of the results of 12 months' VDRL screening in a blood transfusion service. Positive VDRL tests were found on 318 of the 73 350 blood donations collected during 1974. Thirty-four tests confirming specific treponemal infection were found in 24 donors. A battery of confirmatory tests showed the remaining 284 positive VDRL reactions from 235 donors to be biological false positive (BFP) results, and, of these, one-third were considered entirely negative by the reference laboratory. BFP reactions were commoner in female donors than in males, and a higher incidence than expected was observed in younger female donors and older male donors. A marked seasonal incidence was noted, 65% of all BFP tests from the transfusion service being found in the four colder months of May to August. Although some differences exist between the group as a whole and the 36 donors (15.3%) found to have BFP results on more than one occasion during the year, there is little evidence from these studies to suggest that regular blood donation per se is a contributing factor to the finding of a BFP result in VDRL screening. It is probable that the population tested regularly by the blood transfusion service reflects a small but representative sample of the community as a whole.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.