Malawi Medical Journal
College of Medicine, University of Malawi and Medical Association of Malawi
Vol. 29, No. 1, 2017, pp. 29-31
Bioline Code: mm17006
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge
Malawi Medical Journal, Vol. 29, No. 1, 2017, pp. 29-31
© Copyright 2017 - Malawi Medical Journal
Hepatitis B virus seroprevalence among Malawian medical students: A cross-sectional study|
Chipetah, Froid; Chirambo, Aaron; Billiat, Ednas & Shawa, Isaac Thom
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) predominantly spreads through contact with infected blood or other body fluids and causes liver disease. HBV vaccination
for students at the College of Medicine, University of Malawi, is done without screening for the virus. It is important to assess the prevalence of HBV
antigens among foundation-year students in order to consolidate evidence in support of HBV screening before vaccination.
The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of HBV antigens among 2013-2014 foundation-year students at the University of Malawi
College of Medicine.
A prospective cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted among 2013-2014 foundation year students at the Malawi College of Medicine. Out of
the 234 foundation-year students, written consent was obtained from 89 students. Venous blood samples were collected and tested for HBV surface
antigen using SD Bioline immunochromatographic rapid assays.
Out of the 62 (69.7%) male students, none tested HBV-positive, and out of 27 (30.3%) female students, none were seropositive. This suggested the
absence of HBsAg among students or presence of HBsAg levels below detectable limits.
This study showed levels of HBsAg below detectable limits among healthy young adults in Malawi. HBV screening for medical students should further
be assessed to ensure adequate protection before they are assigned clinical duties. These findings provide enough grounds to agitate for further surveys
to support the establishment of a universal HBV immunisation programme in Malawi.
Alternative site location: http://revista.uft.edu.br/index.php/jbb/index