Malawi Medical Journal

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Prevalence of antibody to hepatitis B core antigen among hepatitis B surface antigen-negative blood donors in Ilorin, Nigeria: A cross-sectional study

Mutiat K. Ogunfemi, Hannah O. Olawumi, Abdulfatai B. Olokoba, Modu B. Kagu, Sikiru A. Biliaminu, Kabir A. Durowade, Idayat A. Durotoye, Akeem O. Shittu


Background: Post-transfusion hepatitis occurs even with stringent donor selection criteria and screening for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) in HBsAg-negative blood donors.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study in which 200 HBsAg-negative blood donors were recruited. Screening for viral markers was done using both a rapid test kit and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for anti-HBc IgM. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of anti-HBc IgM was done by “capture” enzyme immunoassay using DIA.PRO HBc IgM test kits. The other viral markers were investigated using one step cassette style HBV tests. SPSS version 16 was used for data analysis. A P-value of 0.05 or less was considered significant.

Results: There were 190 male (95%) and 10 female (5%) blood donors, with a mean age of 31.7 ± 7.9 years. The prevalence of anti-HBc IgM was 4%. The other viral markers (HBeAg, anti-HBeAg, anti-HBs and total anti-HBc) had a prevalence of 1.5%, 23%, 2.5%, and 32.5%, respectively.

Conclusions: The prevalence of anti-HBc IgM in this study was high, and this supports the fact that screening blood donors for HBsAg alone is not sufficient to prevent transmission of HBV.
AJOL African Journals Online