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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 40  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 143-147

Prevalence and significance of hepatitis B core antibodies among hepatitis B surface antigen-negative Egyptian polytransfused adult patients

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt
2 Department of Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Tamer A Elbedewy
Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta University, 31527 Tanta
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1110-1067.164739

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Background/aims Blood transfusion is a well-established line of therapy associated with risk of infection transmission. Occult hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is defined as the presence of HBV-DNA in the serum and/or the liver in the absence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). Combined screening of HBsAg and hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc) can virtually eradicate blood-transmitted HBV. The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of anti-HBc among Egyptian polytransfused adult patients and to determine the presence or absence of HBV-DNA in the serum samples of HBsAg-negative, anti-HBc-positive polytransfused adult patients using the polymerized chain reaction (PCR) method to assess the magnitude of occult HBV infection in these patients. Patients and methods This cross-sectional study included 79 polytransfused patients negative for HBsAg, HBsAb, and anti-hepatitis C virus. Patients were investigated for anti-HBc and samples of anti-HBc-positive patients were tested for HBV-DNA using real-time PCR. Results Among the 79 HBsAg-negative sera, anti-HBc was detected in 12 of 79 (15.19%) cases. All anti-HBc-positive sera were anti-HBs-negative. HBV-DNA was detected in five of 12 (41.67%) cases. Occult HBV infection was present in 6.33% of patients. Conclusion The overall prevalence of occult HBV in adult Egyptian polytransfused patients on regular blood transfusion is 6.33%.

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