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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 60  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 22-26

The prevalence of occult hepatitis B infection among blood donors in Lagos, Nigeria


1 Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Lagos, Nigeria
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Lagos, Nigeria
3 Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
4 Department of Community Health and Primary Care, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
5 Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Faculty of Basic Clinical Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Akinsegun Akinbami
Department of Haematology and Blood Transfusion, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Lagos
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/nmj.NMJ_29_19

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Background: In occult hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, the HBV DNA is present in the blood or liver tissue in patients negative for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) with or without anti-HBV antibodies. Thus, the absence of HBsAg in the blood only reduces the risk of transmission and is not sufficient enough to ensure the absence of HBV infection. Aim: This study was aimed at determining the prevalence of occult HBV infection among blood donors in Lagos. Study Designs: A cross-sectional study was done among 101 consenting blood donors at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, between November 2016 and January 2017. Materials and Methods: HBV DNA analysis and viral load were done at the Molecular Laboratory of National Sickle Cell Centre, Idi Araba, Lagos, for all the HBsAg negative blood donors screened by rapid kit at Ikeja. Results: The prevalence of occult HBV DNA among the participants was 3% consisting of 3% prevalence of HBV DNA surface antigen and 0% prevalence for precore and core of the HBV DNA. Conclusion: The low prevalence (3%) of occult HBV seen in our study does not make it cost-effective to routinely screen blood donors or the general population for HBV infection using DNA polymerase chain reaction.


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