Reference intervals in healthy adult Ugandan blood donors and their impact on conducting international vaccine trials

Leigh Anne Eller*, Michael A. Eller, Benson Ouma, Peter Kataaha, Denis Kyabaggu, Richard Tumusiime, Joseph Wandege, Ronald Sanya, Warren B. Sateren, Fred Wabwire-Mangen, Hannah Kibuuka, Merlin L. Robb, Nelson L. Michael, Mark S. de Souza

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Background: Clinical trials are increasingly being conducted internationally. In order to ensure enrollment of healthy participants and proper safety evaluation of vaccine candidates, established reference intervals for clinical tests are required in the target population. Methodology/Principal Findings: We report a reference range study conducted in Ugandan adult blood bank donors establishing reference intervals for hematology and clinical chemistry parameters. Several differences were observed when compared to previously established values from the United States, most notably in neutrophils and eosinophils. Conclusions/Significance: In a recently conducted vaccine trial in Uganda, 31 percent (n = 69) of volunteers screened (n = 223) were excluded due to hematologic abnormalities. If local reference ranges had been employed, 83% of those screened out due to these abnormalities could have been included in the study, drastically reducing workload and cost associated with the screening process. In addition, toxicity tables used in vaccine and drug trial safety evaluations may need adjustment as some clinical reference ranges determined in this study overlap with grade 1 and grade 2 adverse events.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3919
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
StatePublished - 11 Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes


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