African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
Vol. 16, No. 3, 2016, pp. 677-683
Bioline Code: hs16086
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge
African Health Sciences, Vol. 16, No. 3, 2016, pp. 677-683
© Copyright 2016 - African Health Sciences
Molecular and serological detection of occult hepatitis B virus among healthy hepatitis B surface antigen-negative blood donors in Malaysia.|
Hudu,Shuaibu A.; Harmal,Nabil S.; Saeed,Mohammed I.; Alshrari,Ahmad S.; Malik,Yasmin A.; Niazlin,Mohd T.; Hassan,Roshida & Sekawi,Zamberi
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.
Hepatitis B; surface antigen; core antibody; polymerase chain reaction; occult hepatitis B infection