Prevalence of Hepatitis B virus infection amongst parturients in the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital
AbstractBackground: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is endemic in Nigeria and indeed the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa. The Society of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in Nigeria (SOGHIN) recommends HBV screening for all Nigerians to pave way for early detection and treatment of the infection in those who are infected and prevention of infection in individuals who are free of the infection via immunization. Identifying seropositive paturients and taking steps to deter vertical transmission are important preventive strategies. This study, therefore, sought to determine the seroprevalence rate of HBV infection among paturients seen at a tertiary hospital in Ilorin.
Patients and Methods: This was a prospective observational study of pregnant women seen between September 1 to December 31, 2012 at the Ante-natal clinic of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Ilorin. Demographic information, relevant medical information and blood samples for screening were taken from all booked and unbooked pregnant women after obtaining informed consent. The serologic test done was a qualitative one using immunochromatographic test strips to screen for the presence of Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in the sera of the study subjects.
Results: A total number of 237 pregnant women were enrolled into this study during the study period (mean age 31.2 ± 3.4 years). Thirty (12.7%) of the study subjects had positive test results to the presence of HBsAg in their sera. Hence, the HBV seroprevalence rate in this study was 12.7%.
Conclusion and recommendations: This study has shown a high HBV seroprevalence rate of 12.7% among pregnant women seen at UITH. It is our recommendation, therefore, that HBV screening be included among the routine antenatal investigations for all pregnant women in UITH and the community at large.
Keywords: Hepatitis B virus, Paturients, Seroprevalence, Vertical transmission, Immunization