Prevalence of hepatitis B antigen and C antibody among blood donors at Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria
The prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and hepatitis C (HCV) antibody were determined in 560 blood donor sera using ELISA kits (DIALAB Austria). Out of these 48(8.57%) were positive to hepatitis B virus infection, while 33(5.89%) were positive to hepatitis C virus antibodies. The sex distribution of respondents showed that 40(8.68%) out of 461 males and 8(8.08%) out of 99 females were positive for HBsAg. Similarly, 31(6.72%) males and 2(2.02%) females were positive for HCV. Age group 18 - 28 years had the highest prevalence of both hepatitis B, 25(5.43%) for males and 4(4.04%) for females, and hepatitis C, 20(4.34%) for males
and 2(2.02%) for females. There was evidence of co-infection of hepatitis B and C, and males had higher prevalence than females for the infections among blood donors sampled. This implied that blood donors must be screened against hepatitis B and C alongside other viral diseases. Some
social and demographic factors were not tested due to unwillingness of the donors to supply useful bio-data. However, further studies on a larger scale that will consider some of these elements as possible predisposing factors are recommended.
Keywords: Hepatitis C antibody, hepatitis B antigen, ELISA kit, blood donors