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Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo. 2001 Jul-Aug;43(4):203-8.

Significance of isolated hepatitis B core antibody in blood donors from São Paulo.

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  • 1Fundação Pró-Sangue Hemocentro de São Paulo, SP, Brasil.


The clinical significance of isolated anti-HBc is still a challenge. To elucidate the real importance of this finding in our blood donors, an investigation algorithm was tested. One hundred and twelve isolated anti-HBc seropositive blood donors underwent clinical evaluation and retesting of HBV markers. Those who presented repeatedly reactive isolated anti-HBc, received a single dose of hepatitis B recombinant vaccine to verify anti-HBs early response. A HBV-DNA determination by PCR was done for those who did not test positive to anti-HBs after vaccine. The level of anti-HBc was recorded as a ratio of the sample-to-cut-off values (S:C ratio) in 57 candidates at donation. Comparing true and false-positive anti-HBc results, the different S:C ratios of them were statistically significant and when less than 2, implying in a false-positive result probability over 80%. A high percent of false-positive results (16.07%) was verified after anti-HBc retesting. HBV immunity was characterized in 49.11%, either by anti-HBs detection in retesting (15.18%), or after a single dose HBV vaccination (33.93%). HBV-DNA was negative in all tested donors. In conclusion, this algorithm was useful to clarify the meaning of isolated anti-HBc in most of our blood donors.

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