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Afr Health Sci. 2016 Sep;16(3):677-683.

Molecular and serological detection of occult hepatitis B virus among healthy hepatitis B surface antigen-negative blood donors in Malaysia.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia; Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, 840232 Sokoto State, Nigeria.
2
Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia; Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sana'a University, Sana'a, Yemen.
3
Department of Medical Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia.
4
Department of Basic Health Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, Northern Border Universiti, 91911 Rafha, Saudi Arabia.
5
Department of Clinical Science, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia.
6
National Blood Centre Malaysia, Jalan Tun Razak Kuala Lumpur, 504000 Malaysia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Occult hepatitis B infections are becoming a major global threat, but the available data on its prevalence in various parts of the world are often divergent.

OBJECTIVE:

This study aimed to detect occult hepatitis B virus in hepatitis B surface antigen-negative serum using anti-HBc as a marker of previous infection.

PATIENT AND METHODS:

A total of 1000 randomly selected hepatitis B surface antigen-negative sera from blood donors were tested for hepatitis B core antibody and hepatitis B surface antibody using an ELISA and nested polymerase chain reaction was done using primers specific to the surface gene (S-gene).

RESULTS:

Of the 1000 samples 55 (5.5%) were found to be reactive, of which 87.3% (48/55) were positive for hepatitis B surface antibody, indicating immunity as a result of previous infection however, that does not exclude active infection with escaped mutant HBV. Nested PCR results showed the presence of hepatitis B viral DNA in all the 55 samples that were positive for core protein, which is in agreement with the hepatitis B surface antibody result.

CONCLUSION:

This study reveals the 5.5% prevalence of occult hepatitis B among Malaysian blood donors as well as the reliability of using hepatitis B core antibody in screening for occult hepatitis B infection in low endemic, low socioeconomic settings.

KEYWORDS:

Hepatitis B; core antibody; occult hepatitis B infection; polymerase chain reaction; surface antigen

PMID:
27917199
PMCID:
PMC5111975
DOI:
10.4314/ahs.v16i3.6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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