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.