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.
Eller, L. A., Eller, M. A., Ouma, B., Kataaha, P., Kyabaggu, D., Tumusiime, R., … de Souza, M. S. (2008). Reference intervals in healthy adult Ugandan blood donors and their impact on conducting international vaccine trials. PLoS ONE, 3(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0003919