Sudan is a highly endemic area for hepatitis B virus (HBV), and >5% of blood donors are chronically infected. To examine potential strategies to improve HBV blood safety, 404 replacement donor samples previously screened for HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) were tested for antibody to HBV core (anti-HBc), anti-surface antigen (anti-HBs), and HBV DNA. Of 145 anti-HBc-containing samples (36%) identified, 16 retested were HBsAg positive (11%). Anti-HBs was detected in 43/77 (56%) anti-HBc-reactive samples. Six samples were HBsAg−/anti-HBc+/anti-HBs+ and contained HBV DNA, meeting the definition of occult HBV infection (OBI). OBIs had low HBV DNA loads (<10 IU/ml) and were genotype B (n = 1) or genotype D (n = 5). Pre-S/S and/or whole genome sequences were obtained from 47 randomly selected HBsAg-positive donors added to the previous 16. Genotype E was identified in 27 strains (57.5%), genotype D in 19 strains (40.5%), and genotype A2 in 1 strain (2%). Two outlier strains within genotype D ultimately were identified as recombinants of genotypes D and E with identical recombination points, suggesting circulating, infectious, recombinant strains. Anti-HBc screening does not appear to be a sustainable blood safety strategy because of the cost and the negative impact on the Sudanese blood supply, even when reduced by anti-HBs testing. Being at the junction between two main African HBV genotypes, genetic recombination occurred and became part of the molecular epidemiology of HBV in Sudan.
AIM: To study the seroprevalence of antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) in healthy blood donors negative for HBsAg and to evaluate whether anti-HBc detection could be adopted in India as a screening assay for HBV in addition to HBsAg.
METHODS: A total of 1700 serum samples collected from HBsAg-negative healthy blood donors were tested for the presence of anti-HBc antibody (IgM + IgG). All samples reactive for anti-HBc antibody were then investigated for presence of anti-HBs and for liver function tests (LFTs). One hundred serum samples reactive for anti-HBc were tested for HBV DNA by PCR method.
RESULTS: Out of 1700 samples tested, 142 (8.4%) blood samples were found to be reactive for anti-HBc. It was significantly lower in voluntary (6.9%) as compared to replacement donors (10.4%, P = 0.011). Seventy-two (50.7%) anti-HBc reactive samples were also reactive for anti-HBs with levels > 10 mIU/mL and 70 (49.3%) samples were non-reactive for anti-HBs, these units were labeled as anti-HBc-only. These 142 anti-HBc reactive units were also tested for liver function test. HBV DNA was detected in only 1 of 100 samples tested.
CONCLUSION: Keeping in view that 8%-18% of donor population in India is anti-HBc reactive, inclusion of anti-HBc testing will lead to high discard rate. Anti-HBs as proposed previously does not seem to predict clearance of the virus. Cost effectiveness of introducing universal anti-HBc screening and discarding large number of blood units versus considering ID NAT (Individual donor nuclic acid testing) needs to be assessed.
Hepatitis B core antigen; Hepatitis B surface antigen; Hepatitis B virus; Transfusion-associated hepatitis B virus; Blood donors
Occult hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection might transmit viremic units into the public blood supply if only hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) testing is used for donor screening. Our aim was to evaluate the prevalence of occult HBV infection among the HBsAg negative/antiHBc positive donations from a highly HIV prevalent region of India.
A total of 729 HBsAg negative donor units were included in this study. Surface gene and precore region were amplified by in house nucleic acid test (NAT) for detection of occult HBV infection and surface gene was analyzed after direct sequencing.
A total of 220 (30.1%) HBsAg negative donors were antiHBc positive, of them 66 (30%) were HBV DNA positive by NAT. HBV DNA positivity among 164 antiHBc only group, was 27.1% and among 40 antiHBs positive group was 30.0%. HBV/D (93.3%) was predominant and prevalence of both HBV/C and HBV/A was 3.3%. Single or multiple amino acids substitutions were found in 95% samples.
Thus, a considerable number of HBV infected donors remain undiagnosed, if only HBsAg is used for screening. Addition of antiHBc testing for donor screening, although will lead to rejection of a large number of donor units, will definitely eliminate HBV infected donations and help in reducing HBV transmission with its potential consequences, especially among the immunocompromised population. The HBV genetic diversity found in this donor population are in accordance with other parts of India.
Rapid counter-immunoelectrophoresis (CIE) and radioimmunoassay (RIA) methods for detecting antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) were used to screen nearly 8000 blood donors, including 919 prisoners. The prevalence of anti-HBc in prisoner donors (3.4%) was significantly higher than that in other donors (0.7%). The three HBsAg positive donors in the series were all anti-HBc positive and, of the other 73 anti-HBc positive donors, 62 had antibody to HBsAg (anti-HBs). Two panels of control sera, including 155 HBsAg positive samples, were tested by CIE for anti-HBc: 149 of the 155 were anti-HBc positive. Of the six negative samples, four were HBsAg positive only by RIA. One of the panels, containing 16 weakly HBsAg positive samples, was available for anti-HBc testing by RIA. Fifteen of the samples were positive and the other was slightly reactive. Donor sera that gave unconfirmable reactions in initial CIE tests were invariably negative when tested by RIA. The RIA was a more sensitive and specific test for anti-HBc than CIE. The ways in which anti-HBc screening could meet the needs of blood transfusion centres are discussed. We suggest that, in areas of low prevalence, it has a role as a rapid confirmatory test of HBV infection and as a means of identifying those potentially infectious donations in which HBsAg cannot be detected.
AIM: To identify blood donors with occult hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection (OBI) to promote safe blood donation.
METHODS: Descriptive cross sectional study was conducted on 3167 blood donors negative for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), hepatitis C antibody (HCV Ab) and human immunodeficiency virus Ab. They were subjected to the detection of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase (AST) and screening for anti-HBV core antibodies (total) by two different techniques; [Monoliza antibodies to hepatitis B core (Anti-HBc) Plus-Bio-Rad] and (ARC-HBc total-ABBOT). Positive samples were subjected to quantitative detection of antibodies to hepatitis B surface (anti-HBs) (ETI-AB-AUK-3, Dia Sorin-Italy). Serum anti-HBs titers > 10 IU/L was considered positive. Quantitative HBV DNA by real time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) (QIAGEN-Germany) with 3.8 IU/mL detection limit was estimated for blood units with negative serum anti-HBs and also for 32 whose anti-HBs serum titers were > 1000 IU/L. Also, 265 recipients were included, 34 of whom were followed up for 3-6 mo. Recipients were investigated for ALT and AST, HBV serological markers: HBsAg (ETI-MAK-4, Dia Sorin-Italy), anti-HBc, quantitative detection of anti-HBs and HBV-DNA.
RESULTS: 525/3167 (16.6%) of blood units were positive for total anti-HBc, 64% of those were anti-HBs positive. Confirmation by ARCHITECT anti-HBc assay were carried out for 498/525 anti-HBc positive samples, where 451 (90.6%) confirmed positive. Reactivity for anti-HBc was considered confirmed only if two positive results were obtained for each sample, giving an overall prevalence of 451/3167 (14.2%) for total anti-HBc. HBV DNA was quantified by real time PCR in 52/303 (17.2%) of anti-HBc positive blood donors (viral load range: 5 to 3.5 x 105 IU/mL) with a median of 200 IU/mL (mean: 1.8 x 104 ± 5.1 x 104 IU/mL). Anti-HBc was the only marker in 68.6% of donors. Univariate and multivariate logistic analysis for identifying risk factors associated with anti-HBc and HBV-DNA positivity among blood donors showed that age above thirty and marriage were the most significant risk factors for prediction of anti-HBc positivity with AOR 1.8 (1.4-2.4) and 1.4 (1.0-1.9) respectively. Other risk factors as gender, history of blood transfusion, diabetes mellitus, frequent injections, tattooing, previous surgery, hospitalization, Bilharziasis or positive family history of HBV or HCV infections were not found to be associated with positive anti-HBc antibodies. Among anti-HBc positive blood donors, age below thirty was the most significant risk factor for prediction of HBV-DNA positivity with AOR 3.8 (1.8-7.9). According to HBV-DNA concentration, positive samples were divided in two groups; group one with HBV-DNA ≥ 200 IU/mL (n = 27) and group two with HBV-DNA < 200 IU/mL (n = 26). No significant difference was detected between both groups as regards mean age, gender, liver enzymes or HBV markers. Serological profiles of all followed up blood recipients showed that, all were negative for the studied HBV markers. Also, HBV DNA was not detected among studied recipients, none developed post-transfusion hepatitis (PTH) and the clinical outcome was good.
CONCLUSION: OBI is prevalent among blood donors. Nucleic acid amplification/HBV anti core screening should be considered for high risk recipients to eliminate risk of unsafe blood donation.
Hepatitis B virus; Total anti-HBc; Occult hepatitis B virus infection; Hepatitis B surface antigen; Hepatitis B virus-DNA
Presence of occult hepatitis B infection (OBI) renders HBs antigen (HBsAg) undetectable by ELISA. Therefore it is valuable to evaluate the frequency of OBI among healthy blood donors to improve and perhaps change the strategies of blood screening to reduce the risk of HBV transmission.
The aim of this study was to determine the presence of HBcAb and HBV DNA among Iranian HBsAg negative healthy blood donors who donated their blood to the Tehran Blood Transfusion Center during 2011.
Patients and Methods
1000 serum specimens negative for HBsAg, HCV antibody and HIV antibody were collected from healthy blood donors and tested for HBcAb. Presence of hepatitis B viral DNA was checked in HBcAb positive samples by nested PCR with two sets of primers to amplify part of HBV S gene.
There were 64 women and 936 men in the population under study. The mean ± SD age of the donors was 38 ± 11 years. 80 out of 1000 samples (8%) were found to be positive for HBcAb. HBV DNA was detected in 50% of HBcAb positive specimens. The mean ± SD age of donors without HBV DNA was 37.7 ± 10.5 years and for donors with HBV DNA was 40.9 ± 11.2 years (P = 0.05).
OBI was prevalent among 50% of HBcAb positive healthy blood donors. The frequency of positive HBcAb among healthy HBsAg negative blood donors was comparable to previous studies reported from Iran. On the other hand, the frequency of HBV DNA in HBsAg negative blood donors was higher than previous reports.
Hepatitis B virus; Blood Donors; Polymerase Chain Reaction; Hepatitis B Surface Antigens
Background and Aims
Occult hepatitis B infected (OBI) patients can not completely eradicate hepatitis B virus-DNA (HBV-DNA) from their liver and peripheral blood. The main aim of this study was to investigate the Interleukin (IL)-10and IL-17A serum levels in patients suffering from OBI.
Material and Methods
In this observational study, plasma samples of 3700 blood donors were tested for hepatitis Bsurface antigen (HBsAg) and antibodies to the hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc), using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The HBsAg-/anti-HBc+ samples were selected and screened for HBV-DNA, using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). HBV-DNA positive samples were assigned as OBI cases and IL-10 and IL-17 serum levels were detected using ELISA.
The results demonstrated that, 352 (9.5%) out of 3700 blood samples were HBsAg-/anti-HBc+ and HBV-DNA was detected in 57/352 (16.1%) of the HBsAg-/anti-HBc+ samples. Our results showed that the IL-10 and IL-17A serum levels increased significantly in the OBI cases in comparison to the controls (P < 0.001).
According to the results of this study the higher level of IL-10 production may suppress the functioning of the immune system against HBV in OBI patients. The elevated IL-17A serum level also indicates a long period of infection in the patients observed.
Occult Hepatitis B Infection; Interleukin-10; Interleukin-17; HBV-DNA
Anti-hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg)-positive hepatitis B surface
antigen (HBsAg)-negative plasma samples from blood donors were tested
by nested PCR. DNA positivity was more significantly associated with
high levels of anti-HBcAg than with low levels of anti-HBsAg
antibodies. Analysis of a dilution of anti-HBcAg antibodies might
result in a more rational exclusion of anti-HBcAg-positive
HBsAg-negative samples, reducing the number of donations discarded and
enabling more countries to incorporate anti-HBcAg testing.
A prospective, 1-year study was performed among Italian first-time, volunteer blood donors, who account for 12% of all donations, in order to assess the frequency and serological patterns of hepatitis B virus infection and the presence of occult infection.
Materials and methods
Consecutive donors (n=31,190) from 21 blood transfusion centres, from age classes not subjected to universal HBV vaccination, were tested for HBsAg and anti-HBc by commercial immunoassays. Other HBV serological markers were searched for and qualitative and quantitative assessments of HBV-DNA were made in HBsAg and/or anti-HBc-positive individuals.
Of the 31,190 donors studied, 100 (0.32%) were positive for both HBsAg and anti-HBc, 2 for HBsAg (0.01%) alone, and 2,593 (8.3%) for anti-HBc. Of these last, 86.7% were also positive for anti-HBs (with or without anti-HBe), 2.9% were positive for anti-HBe without anti-HBs and 10.4% had no other HBV markers (anti-HBc alone). A general north-south increasing gradient of HBV prevalence was observed. Circulating HBV-DNA was found in 96.8% of HBsAg-positive subjects as compared to 0.55% (12/2,186) of anti-HBc-positive/HBsAg-negative subjects, with higher frequencies among anti-HBs-negative than among anti-HBs-positive ones (1.68% vs 0.37%; p <0.01) and among the 57 cases positive for both anti-HBc and anti-HBe (7%). HBV-DNA levels were significantly higher in HBsAg-positive subjects than in HBsAg-negative ones (median: 456 IU/mL vs 38 IU/mL).
The prevalence of HBV infection among Italian first-time blood donors is much lower than in the past. The presence of occult infections in this group was confirmed (frequency: 1 in 2,599), supporting the hypothesis of long-term persistence of HBV infection after clearance of HBsAg. HBsAg and nucleic acid amplification testing for blood screening and vaccination against HBV are crucial in order to further reduce the risk of transfusion-transmitted HBV towards zero.
HBV; anti-HBc; blood screening; occult infection; HBV-DNA
Background. Prevention of the residual risk of transfusion transmitted hepatitis B virus infection (HBV) is mostly dependant on serological screening of blood donors for HBsAg and antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc Ab). This study aimed to study the prevalence of HBsAg and anti-HBc Ab and to compare the profile of blood donors attending a blood donation camp and people attending a hospital based camp. Methods. In the blood donor camp, all the blood units were screened for HBV, (HBsAg and anti-HBc), and in the hospital based camp, screening was done for HBsAg alone. Baseline demographic characteristics were noted. Results. The number of blood bank donors was 363 (47.5%) and hospital camp attendees was 402 (52.5%). Prevalence of HBsAg positivity was similar in both the groups at 1.7% and 1.9%, respectively. Anti-HBc Ab positivity (Total) was 6% among the blood donors; Overall prevalence of HBV infection in this group was 3.2%. Conclusion. Policy for checking the collected blood unit by 3 tests for anti-HBc, anti-HBsAb, and HBsAg should be reconsidered to possibly achieve the zero risk goal of transfusion transmitted HBV infection. Blood obtained from a vaccinated donor may give an added protection to the recipient.
The value of testing for core antibody (anti HBc) in acute hepatitis was assessed in 503 patients. All hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positive patients tested were also anti HBc positive. Of the 110 HBsAg negative, anti HBc positive patients, 32 were found to have surface antibody, indicating previous infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV). Of the remaining 78 patients in whom anti HBc alone was detectable, follow-up specimens were received from 28 and, of these, 21 were then found to be anti HBc negative. Thus in acute hepatitis non-specific transient reactions to core antigen may appear, and the presence of anti HBc alone cannot be considered adequate evidence for a diagnosis of HBV infection.
Background and aims
Occult hepatitis B virus infection (OBI) poses a challenge to the safety of blood donation. The prevalence of OBI is not well documented in Indonesia, although this information in such an endemic country is needed. This study was aimed to evaluate the prevalence of occult hepatitis B in blood donors from two cities of Indonesia, and to study the genetic variation and its effect on the predicted antigenicity of HBsAg.
Serum samples of 309 regular blood donors negative for HBsAg were tested for anti-HBs and anti-HBc. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA isolated from anti-HBc-positive samples were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction, cloned and sequenced. Antigenic properties of identified HBsAg mutants were predicted by calculation of the antigenic index.
Of the 309 HBsAg-negative samples, anti-HBc was positive in 134 (43.4%) and HBV DNA was detected in 25 (8.1%). Seven of the viremic samples had nucleotide substitutions (A521G, A551T, C582T, and A562G) in the S gene, causing amino acid mutations (T123A, M133L, and T143M) in the ‘a’ determinant of HBsAg that resulted in changes in the predicted antigenicity.
OBI was detected in blood donors’ samples in Indonesia. Anti-HBc was shown to be a better screening parameter than HBsAg, however, it might result in the loss of donors particularly in endemic countries. HBsAg detection failure in this study might be due to mutations altering the protein antigenicity and/or the low-level carriage of HBV.
Hepatitis B; Hepatitis B virus; HBV; Occult hepatitis B; OBI; Antigenic index; Antigenic property; Blood donor
Occult hepatitis B infection (OBI) is identified as a form of hepatitis in which despite the absence of detectable HBsAg, HBV-DNA is observed in peripheral blood of patients. The main aim of this study has been to investigate the association between polymorphisms in +874 of IFN-γ and +1188 of IL-12 with their serum level in patients suffering from OBI.
Materials and Methods:
In this experimental study, plasma samples of 3700 blood donors were tested for the presence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and anti-HBc by ELISA. The HBsAg-/anti-HBc+ samples were selected and screened for HBV-DNA by PCR. HBV-DNA positive samples were assigned as OBI cases and ARMS-PCR techniques were performed to examine the two known polymorphisms within IL-12 and IFN-γ. In addition, the serum levels of IL-12 and IFN-γ were also determined by ELISA.
Results of this study demonstrated that, 352 (9.5%) out of 3700 blood samples were HBsAg-/anti-HBc+ and HBV-DNA was detected in 57/352 (16.1%) of HBsAg-/anti-HBc+ samples. Our results showed that groups showed significant difference in CC allele of +1188 region of IL-12 and no difference was observed in the other evaluated genes. Our results also showed that the alleles of +1188 region of IL-12 and alleles of +874 of IFN-γ were also not associated with serum level of cytokines.
According to the results of this study, it may be concluded that the polymorphisms in +1188 region of IL-12 and +874 region of IFN-γ would not affect the expression of both cytokines at serum level in OBI patients.
IL-12; IFN-γ; occult hepatitis B infection; polymorphism
Transfusion-associated hepatitis B viral infection continues to be a major problem in India even after adoption of mandatory screening for HBsAg by ELISA method. The high incidence of TAHBV is reported in patients receiving multiple transfusions.
To study the seroprevalence of hepatitis B core antibody among healthy voluntary blood donors
Subjects and Methods
The study was conducted in the department of Transfusion Medicine of a tertiary care referral hospital. A total of 12,232 volunteers after passing through the stringent criteria were selected for blood donation. Donor samples were tested for all mandatory transfusion transmissible infections and anti HBc IgM (Monolisa HBc IgM PLUS:BIO-RAD, France). Reactive results were confirmed by repeat testing in duplicate. Donor data was analyzed using SPSS software and Chi-square test was used to calculate the significance of difference between the groups.
A total of 12,232 healthy voluntary blood donors were recruited. Majority (93.4%) were males. Median age of donor population was 26 years (range: 18–60 years). Eighty six (0.7%) were positive for HBsAg, which comes under “low prevalence (<2%) zone” as per WHO. On screening for HBcAg Ig M, 15 (0.1%) were found to be positive and none were HBsAg reactive. There was no significance of difference in the mean age between reactive and non-reactive donors.
Evaluating the usefulness of anti-HBc screening is critical. Anti HBcAg IgM screening may be included in routine screening of donors as it is an indicator of occult HBV during window period. The cost and the unnecessary wastage of the blood units when they are positive for anti HBsAg along with the core antibody need to be studied.
A total of 284 Lancashire police officers each with a minimum of 5 years experience was tested for evidence of hepatitis B infection. None was hepatitis B surface antigen positive (HBsAg). Three were positive for both antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) and HBsAg (anti-HBs). Five were positive for anti-HBc alone. Thus the overall prevalence was 2.8% which is within the range reported for blood donors in the UK. There was no association with working in the drug squad or custody office but there was a higher prevalence in those who had worked in the scene-of-crime's squad. However, the numbers were small, and of this group of 28 officers, 2 of the 3 with detectable hepatitis B markers were positive for anti-HBc alone. Therefore for police officers in mixed rural/urban areas of the UK, routine administration of hepatitis B vaccine is not justified although special consideration should be given to those working in selected groups. Further studies are required to ascertain whether there may be an increased risk for police officers working in conurbations.
Background and aims: Liver donors with serological evidence of resolved hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection (HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) negative, anti-HBV core (HBc) positive) can transmit HBV infection to recipients. In the context of organ shortage, we investigated the efficacy of hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) to prevent HBV infection, and assessed the infectious risk by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for HBV DNA on serum and liver tissue of anti-HBc positive donors.
Patients: Between 1997 and 2000, 22 of 315 patients were transplanted with liver allografts from anti-HBc positive donors. Long term HBIG therapy was administered to 16 recipients. Four naive and two vaccinated patients received no prophylaxis.
Results: Hepatitis B developed in the four HBV naive recipients without prophylaxis and in none of the vaccinated subjects. Among the 16 recipients receiving HBIG, one patient with residual anti-HBs titres below 50 UI/ml became HBsAg positive. The remaining 15 remained HBsAg negative and HBV DNA negative by PCR testing throughout a 20 month (range 4–39) follow up period. HBV DNA was detected by PCR in 1/22 donor serum, and in 11/21 liver grafts with normal histology. A mean of 12 months post-transplantation (range 1–23) HBV DNA was no longer detectable in graft biopsies from patients remaining HBsAg negative.
Conclusion: Anti-HBs antibodies may control HBV replication in liver grafts from anti-HBc positive donors, without additional antiviral drugs. These grafts are thus suitable either to effectively vaccinated recipients or to those who are given HBIG to prevent HBV recurrence.
hepatitis B virus; anti-hepatitis B virus core; liver transplantation; hepatitis B virus infection; liver grafts
Background & objectives:
Safe blood and blood products should be offered to all patients in need for blood transfusion. The objectives of the present study were to establish prevalence estimates for hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus infections as a foundation for safe blood transfusion in rural Vietnam, and to check the accuracy of the laboratory analysis used for hepatitis testing of blood donors in Vietnam.
A cross-sectional study was conducted in two rural communities in Quang Tri, Vietnam. A total of 1,200 blood samples collected from potential blood donors were tested by an enzyme immunoassay technique (EIA) for detection of hepatitis surface antigen (HBsAg), antibodies to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc), and antibodies to hepatitis C antigen (anti-HCV). The EIA test outcome was validated by a chemiluminescent micro particle immunoassay technique (CMIA).
The prevalence of HBsAg and anti-HBc in the study population was 11.4 per cent (95% CI 9.6 - 13.2) and 51.7 per cent (95% CI 48.8 - 54.5), respectively, the prevalences being higher in males than females. The prevalence of anti-HCV was 0.17 per cent. The test agreement between the EIA and CMIA techniques was high both for HBsAg detection (κ = 0.91; 95% CI: 0.83 - 0.99) and for anti-HBc detection (κ = 0.89; 95% CI 0.81 - 0.97). Compared to CMIA results, the positive and negative predictive values of the EIA tests were found to be 94.9 per cent (95% CI 87.5 - 98.6) and 97.5 per cent (95% CI 86.8 - 99.9) for HBsAg, and 92.4 per cent (95% CI 84.2 - 97.2) and 100 per cent (95% CI 91.2 - 100) for anti-HBc.
Interpretation & conclusions:
The study shows that hepatitis B virus infection is endemic in rural areas of Vietnam and that almost half of the population is or has been infected. Hepatitis C infection is rare, but false negative test results cannot be ruled out. Also, the results indicate that the EIA performance in blood donor screening in Vietnam may be sub-optimal, missing 2.5 per cent of hepatitis B virus carriers and falsely excluding more than 7 per cent of blood donors. As the prevalence of hepatitis B infection is high, occult hepatitis B infection may represent a threat to safe blood transfusion. Therefore, nucleic acid amplification testing for HBV should be considered for blood donor screening in Vietnam.
Anti-HBc; blood donor screening; HBsAg; hepatitis B core antibody; hepatitis B surface antigen; hepatitis C virus; occult hepatitis B infection; safe blood transfusion; Vietnam
Hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg) was prepared from human liver tissue and used in an immunoelectro-osmophoresis screening test to detect antibody to HBcAg (anti-HBc) in patients with evidence of liver disease and in blood donors. With the exception of two immunosuppressed HBsAg carriers, anti-HBc was found in all cases of hepatitis B infection even when HBsAg was detectable only by radioimmunoassay. Non-specific reactions were observed in 'non-B' hepatitis but, in spite of this problem, antib-HBc screening was considered a useful addition to routine tests in the clinical hepatitis laboratory.
Infections caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and the hepatitis C virus (HCV) are global public health problems. The safety of donated blood can be estimated by monitoring the prevalence of viral markers in the donor population. The present study was carried out in the Jazan region to determine the prevalence of HBV and HCV among Saudi blood donors.
Over a period of six years (January 2004 to December 2009), a total of 29 949 blood units were collected from healthy voluntary and replacement native Saudi blood donors. The donated units were serologically screened for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc), and antibody to hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV). These data were then analysed.
HBsAg was positive in 3.8% of the blood units that were collected, the blood units with anti–HCV seropositivity had the lowest prevalence (0.41%), and the prevalence of HBsAg was highest in the group that was > 46 years of age. A significant decline in the prevalence of HBV infection has been observed, from 5.6% in 2004 to 2.3% in 2009 (P < 0.001).
The present study showed that the prevalence of HBV and HCV was in a significant decline from 2004 to 2009, and the prevalence of HBsAg and anti-HCV significantly increased with age.
blood donors; hepatitis B virus; hepatitis C virus; Jazan; prevalence; Saudi Arabia
Sera from two blood donors, one of whom was implicated in a case of post-transfusion hepatitis B, were found to be positive for anti-HBc and negative for HBsAg by conventional radioimmunoassay and were retested for HBsAg after concentration (pepsin digestion and polyethylene glycol precipitation). The presence of occult HBsAg was confirmed in both. These observations have implications for blood transfusion, and wider studies of anti-HBc in blood donors are recommended before the introduction of routine screening for anti-HBc and exclusion of the positive donors from blood donation.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are considered to be hepatotropic and are a major cause of hepatocellular carcinoma. However, little is known about the role of HBV and HCV infection in other malignancies. This study aimed to determine whether HBV and HCV infections increase the risk for pancreatic cancer development.
Patients and Methods
At The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, we recruited 476 patients with pathologically confirmed adenocarcinoma of the pancreas and 879 age-, sex-, and race-matched healthy controls. Blood samples were tested for the presence of HCV antibodies (anti-HCV), HBV surface antigen (HBsAg), antibodies against HBV core antigen (anti-HBc), and antibodies against HBsAg (anti-HBs). The positive samples were retested by two confirmatory tests. An unconditional multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to estimate adjusted odds ratios (AORs).
Anti-HCV was positive in seven cases (1.5%) and nine controls (1%). Anti-HBc was positive in 36 cases (7.6%) and 28 controls (3.2%). The estimated AORs and 95% CIs were as follows: anti-HCV–positive, 0.9 (95% CI, 0.3 to 2.8), anti-HBc–positive, 2.5 (95% CI, 1.5 to 4.2), anti-HBc–positive/anti-HBs–positive, 2.3 (95% CI, 1.2 to 4.2), and anti-HBc–positive/anti-HBs–negative, 4 (95% CI, 1.4 to 11.1). Risk modification by past exposure to HBV was observed among diabetics (AOR, 7.1; 95% CI, 1.7 to 28.7).
Past exposure to HBV may be associated with pancreatic cancer development. Should such findings be confirmed by other studies, it may offer important insights into the etiology of pancreatic cancer and may suggest the need to consider prevention of HBV reactivation among patients with HBV-related pancreatic cancer during chemotherapy.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are considered to be hepatotropic and are a major cause of hepatocellular carcinoma. However, little is known about the role of HBV and HCV infection in other malignancies. This study aimed to determine whether HBV and HCV infection increase the risk for pancreatic cancer development.
Patients and Methods
At The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, we recruited 476 patients with pathologically confirmed adenocarcinoma of the pancreas and 879 age-, sex-, and race-matched healthy controls. Blood samples were tested for the presence of HCV antibodies (anti-HCV), HBV surface antigen (HBsAg), antibodies against HBV core antigen (anti-HBc), and antibodies against HBsAg (anti-HBs). The positive samples were retested by two confirmatory tests. An unconditional multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to estimate adjusted odds ratios (AORs).
Anti-HCV was positive in 7 cases (1.5%) and 9 controls (1%). Anti-HBc was positive in 36 cases (7.6%) and 28 controls (3.2%). The estimated AORs and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were as follows: anti-HCV+, 0.9 (0.3–2.8), anti-HBc+, 2.5 (1.5–4.2), anti-HBc+/anti-HBs+, 2.3 (1.2–4.2), and anti-HBc+/anti-HBs-, 4 (1.4–11.1). Risk modification by past exposure to HBV was observed among diabetics (AOR, 7.1; 95% CI, 1.7–28.7).
Past exposure to HBV may be associated with pancreatic cancer development. Should such findings be confirmed by other studies, it may offer important insights on the etiology of the pancreatic cancer and may suggest the need to consider prevention of HBV reactivation among HBV-related pancreatic cancer patients during chemotherapy treatment.
We studied the epidemiologic features of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in northern Labrador to determine the prevalence of the infection and to obtain a database to develop a vaccination strategy. The study population included seven communities in which five ethnic groups were represented: Inuit, Innu, mixed Inuit and European ancestry ("settler"), nonnative/nonsettler transient population ("white") and people of Innu-white or Innu-Inuit origin ("mixed"). Blood samples from 2156 people (62% of the area residents) were tested for antibody to HBV core antigen (anti-HBc), HBV surface antigen (HBsAg), HBV e antigen (HBeAg), anti-HBc IgM and antibody to the surface antigen (anti-HBs). The overall crude prevalence rate of HBV seromarkers was 14.7% and the HBsAg carrier rate at least 3.2%; the rates were highest for Inuit (26.4% and 6.9% respectively), followed by settler (10.0% and 1.9% respectively) and Innu (7.6% and 0.4% respectively); the white and mixed groups had the lowest overall rates (2.5% and 3.3% respectively). Although the overall prevalence rates were about the same for the two sexes, the HBsAg carrier rate was higher in males (male:female ratio 1.6:1.0). No HBV carriers were positive for HBeAg or anti-HBc IgM antibody. The rate of exposure to HBV was 4% for those below the age of 20 years and reached a peak for those aged 45 to 54 years (85% for Inuit, 40% for settlers and 37% for Innu). There was also a wide variation in the age-standardized prevalence rates (0% to 27.9%) among the ethnic groups in the seven communities surveyed.
Tests by counter-immunoelectrophoresis for antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) were introduced into a routine testing programme for evidence of hepatitis B virus infection. Samples tested for anti-HBc were selected on the basis of the results of tests for HBsAg and clinical details. The sensitivity and specificity of the test were assessed and correlations made with the presence of HBsAg. The presence of anti-HBc was very useful in the interpretation of a doubtful positive result for HBsAg in the haemagglutination test. With very few exceptions the serum samples positive for HBsAg by routine tests also contained anti-HBc. It is concluded that the test is valuable and merits introduction into routine testing programmes.
To characterize predictors of isolated hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc) among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected and HIV-uninfected women, we compared 702 women with anti-HBc and hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs) with 490 women with isolated anti-HBc (1.8% of whom had detectable hepatitis B virus [HBV] DNA). Factors independently associated with isolated anti-HBc without viremia were detectable hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA, HIV positivity, history of injection drug use, >10 lifetime sex partners, and HIV RNA level >100,000 copies/mL. Anti-HBs levels were lower among anti-HCV–positive women. Isolated anti-HBc was rarely explained by occult HBV in this cohort but may be explained by the influence of viral coinfections on anti-HBs level or durability.