Hepatitis B virus screening in contacts of blood donors with antibodies against core protein (anti-HBc), but without surface antigen (HBsAg)|
Hildenete Monteiro Fortes; Luciano Corrêa Ribeiro; Gustavo Faria Perazolo & Francisco José Dutra Souto
To increase blood safety Brazil introduced screening for anti-HBc among blood donors in 1993. There was a decrease in the hepatitis B virus (HBV) transmission, but this measure identified a great number of HBsAg-negative, anti-HBc-positive donors. Surveillance policy determines that contacts of HBV carriers should be screened to HBV markers, but there is no recommendation about how to guide contacts of HBsAg-negative, anti-HBc-positive donors. Aiming to evaluate whether the contacts of this group are at greater risk for HBV infection, a cross-sectional study was performed to compare prevalence of HBV infection between contacts of HBsAg-positive blood donors (group I) and contacts of HBsAg-negative, anti-HBc-positive donors (group II). Contacts were submitted to a questionnaire and blood tests for HBV markers. In group I (n = 143), 53 (37.1%) were anti-HBc-positive and 11 (7.7%) were HBsAg-positive. In group II (n = 111), there were 9 and 0.9%, respectively. HBV exposure was associated with group I, sexual activity, blood transfusion, being one of the donor's parents, and living for more than ten years with the donor. Regarding the families as sample units, it was more common to find at least one member with HBV markers (p < 0.05) among the families of group I compared to group II. Contacts of HBsAg-negative, anti-HBc-positive individuals presented a much lower risk of having already been exposed to HBV and there is no need to screen them for HBV in low to moderate prevalence populations.
blood donor screening - communicable diseases - blood-borne pathogens - horizontal transmission - vertical transmission - Brazil