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Is viral nucleic acid testing of eye donors cost-effective?

Paul R Badenoch and Douglas J Coster
Med J Aust 2009; 191 (7): 408.
Published online: 5 October 2009

To the Editor: The Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) has informed Australian eye banks that nucleic acid testing (NAT) of donor sera will be required in addition to routine serological tests for hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV. NAT can detect viral genome in the window period between infection and the appearance of antigen or antibody, and is to commence in Australia as soon as possible. However, we believe the benefit of NAT would be small and the cost considerable. Importantly, it would be likely to have an adverse effect on the availability of donor corneas for transplantation.

  • Paul R Badenoch
  • Douglas J Coster

  • Department of Ophthalmology, Flinders Medical Centre and Flinders University, Adelaide, SA.


Competing interests:

Paul Badenoch is the Quality Control Officer and Douglas Coster is the Medical Director of the Eye Bank of South Australia.

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