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Annals of African Medicine

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Hepatitis C virus antibodies among blood donors in Jos, Nigeria

DZ Egah, BM Mandong, D Iya, NE Gomwalk, ES Audu, EB Banwat, BA Onile

Abstract


Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the hepatitis agents known to be transmitted through blood and blood products. Hepatitis C virus has been implicated as a major cause of chronic liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma worldwide. This study was, therefore, undertaken with the objective of determining the sero-prevalence of HCV antibodies among blood donors in the central city of Jos, Nigeria.


Method: A total of two hundred blood donors were recruited from three hospitals within Jos metropolis. Sera from all subjects were tested for Hepatitis C virus antibodies using a second generation enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).


Results: Ninety five percent (95%)of the blood donors were males and most of them were aged between 21 and 50years. Twelve (6.0%)of the blood donors were anti-HCV seropositive and all of them males.


Conclusion: There is an urgent need to introduce routine screening of blood donors for Hepatitis C virus markers in centers where this is not currently been practiced. This will reduce the risk of transfusion-associated hepatitis C infection and its complications in Nigeria.

Key Words: Hepatitis C virus, blood donors, Jos

Annals of African Medicine Vol.3(1 ) 2004: 35-37



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