Hepatitis B Virus Infection In Patients With Homozygous Sickle Cell Disease (Hbss): Need For Intervention

  • U H Nnebe-Agumadu
  • P O Abiodun


Nnebe-Agumadu U H, and Abiodun P O. Hepatitis B Virus Infection in Patients with Homozygous Sickle Cell Disease (HbSS): Need for Intervention. Annals Biomedical Sciences 2002; 1:79-87. This is a prospective study of 213 patients with sickle cell anaemia (SCA) (112 males and 101 females) aged 6 months to 18 years for determination of their Hepatitis B status using 2 markers: Hepatitis B surface Antigen (HBsAg) and antibody to the core antigen (Anti HBc). A prevalence rate of 37% was documented with high affectation of children in their first 2 years of life (26.8% of the age group). Hepatitis B surface antigenaemia was found in 7% of the study group. Examination of the transfusion pattern of the study group showed no significant association between the frequency of transfusion and the acquisition of Hepatitis virus (HBV) markers (correlation co-efficient of 0.07). Documented, however, was an increasing frequency of transfusion with age.This study shows a high prevalence of HBV in SCA patients with early acquisition of the infection in the study group. The need for a HBV control programme in the vulnerable group of children is highlighted. The HB surface antigenaemia of 7% in the present study shows the shortcoming of using HBsAg as a lone marker in screening for HBV.

Keywords: Hepatitis B Virus; Infection; HbSS Patients; Intervention

Annals of Biomedical Science Vol. 1 (2) 2002: pp. 79-87

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eISSN: 1596-6569