Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Screening for transmissible disease in ART patients not necessary at each donation, experts say

Date:
June 28, 2010
Source:
European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology
Summary:
European legislation that requires all couples undergoing assisted reproduction treatment to be screened for HIV and hepatitis at the time of every sperm or egg donation is unnecessary, expensive, and potentially distressing for patients, according to experts.

European legislation that requires all couples undergoing assisted reproduction treatment (ART) to be screened for HIV and hepatitis at the time of every sperm or egg donation is unnecessary, expensive, and potentially distressing for patients, according to a presentation at the 26th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

Ms Ciara Hughes, Senior Embryologist at Human Assisted Reproduction Ireland (HARI), Dublin, told the conference that, under the new Irish legislation, screens for HIV 1 and 2 and hepatitis B and C have to be carried out within 30 days of the start of each ART cycle. Prior to the transposition of the EU Tissues and Cells Directive into Irish law, these diseases were routinely screened for in patients at HARI and the clinic's policy was to have these screens performed within six months of the start of a couple's cycle of treatment.

"Most of these couples are in a stable relationship, and we believed that they were at minimal risk of contracting a communicable disease once the initial screen had showed them to be negative," said Ms Hughes. "However, we had no definitive proof of this and it is why we decided to carry out our study."

The researchers looked at screening results over a ten-year period from 1023 couples who had returned to the HARI clinic for testing after a 180 day quarantine of their surplus frozen embryos and gametes. These couples had been clear on their first screening. Following re-testing, the results were exactly the same -- no seroconversion (the development of specific antibodies in response to infection) had taken place in the intervening period. They also examined the screening results of 555 male oncology patients who were clear on first screening and returned for 180 days follow-up testing. Once again, all of them showed the same viral screen status and remained clear of infection.

"Since the introduction of the new testing requirement, we have carried out 17,494 viral screen tests either before therapy or within 30 days of egg collection and have not come across a single seroconversion," said Ms Hughes. "While I understand that safeguards are necessary to prevent the transmission of disease through the use of human tissue, assisted reproduction is not the same as organ donation or blood transfusion. The main difference is that in IVF the donation is to your cohabiting partner, whereas in tissue donation it is to an unknown person.

"Our research has proved what we already suspected; that there is negligible risk of seroconversion in this group of patients. Given the physical, financial, and emotional investment that each couple makes in undergoing a cycle of treatment, it is unjustifiable to request testing at the time of each donation in order to assess such a minimal risk."

In requiring testing within 30 days of each cycle, Ireland has interpreted the Directive in a particularly restrictive way. Other countries such as Denmark have introduced more relaxed laws, which only require testing every two years. Since the introduction of the new law, all couples in Ireland have to pay, on average, an additional €160 per cycle of IVF or ICSI. This could cost in the region of €1.5 million per year, said Ms Hughes. At the clinic couples could have up to three cycles of treatment per year, and depending on the timing, this could mean each couple paying an additional €480 per year on top of the treatment cost.

The legislation should be revised in order to factor in the unproven risks and to take into account individual patient needs, said Ms Hughes. "Our study is, to our knowledge, the first to carry out a risk assessment of the need for repeat viral screening in ART patients. Armed with this knowledge, a review of the European and Irish legislation in relation to assisted reproduction should be undertaken to avoid a lot of unnecessary costs, both financial and emotional, to couples undergoing ART," she concluded.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. "Screening for transmissible disease in ART patients not necessary at each donation, experts say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100628111850.htm>.
European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. (2010, June 28). Screening for transmissible disease in ART patients not necessary at each donation, experts say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100628111850.htm
European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. "Screening for transmissible disease in ART patients not necessary at each donation, experts say." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100628111850.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Herman Goldman has worked at the same lighting store for almost 75 years. Find out his secrets to a happy, productive life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

American Ebola Patient Apparently Improving, Outbreak Is Not

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Nancy Writebol, an American missionary who contracted Ebola, is apparently getting better, according to her husband. The outbreak, however, is not. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins