Evidence of occult hepatitis B virus infection among Omani blood donors: a preliminary study.

Med Princ Pract 2006 ;15(5):368-72

Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, Al-Khod, Oman.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), hepatitis B core antibodies (anti-HBc) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA among a selected group of Omani blood donors.

Materials And Methods: Two hundred HBsAg-negative donors were screened for anti-HBc. Those found to be positive were investigated for HBV DNA by polymerase chain reaction. HBsAg was retested on these sera following an immune complex dissociation technique.

Results: HBsAg was present in 2.8% of the donors. Forty-one out of 200 (20.5%) HBsAg-negative donors were positive for anti-HBc. Eleven were positive for HBsAg after dissociation, whereas 8 gave readings just over the cutoff. HBV DNA was not detected in this group.

Conclusion: Findings indicate that testing donors for HBsAg alone is not sufficient to eliminate HBV from the blood supply in Oman.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000094271DOI Listing
December 2006
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