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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 25-29

Prevalence of Hepatitis B surface Antigen (HBsAg) seropositivity in sickle cell anaemia patients in Benin City, Mid-Western Nigeria

1 Department of Haematology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (N.A.U.T.H), Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria
2 Department of Haematology, University of Port-Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
3 Department of Community Medicine, N.A.U.T.H, Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
E C Okocha
Department of Haematology and blood transfusion, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, PMB 5025, Nnewi, Anambra State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: Conditions that may require regular blood transfusion are particularly prone to acquiring transfusion transmissible infections. Objective: To determine the prevalence of HBsAg seropositivity among sickle cell anaemia (SCA) patients. Subjects and Methods: Ninety-six (SCA) patients age range 1–69 years, and 92 age-matched controls were screened for exposure to Hepatitis B virus (HBV) using, solid base wet ELISA test kits (Monolisa® from Sanofi diagnostics). All the participants were further stratified into those with a prior history of transfusion and those without, the prevalence of HBsAg was compared in the two groups. Results: The prevalence rate of HBsAg was 29.2% in SCA patients, while it was 27.2% in the controls. The difference was not statistically significant (P>0.05). The overall risk of HBV infection in SCA patients was not clearly increased by blood transfusion, even though the Relative risk (1.4%), compared to that of the control population (1.2%) and Attributable risk (8.4%), compared to that of the control population (6.6%) were increased. Conclusion: Transmission of hepatitis B virus infection from blood transfusion does not appear to contribute significantly to the high prevalence of seropositivity in our population of SCA patients. Universal vaccination of these subjects against hepatitis B virus is advocated as a way to possibly reduce this prevalence.

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