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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 12-15

Frequency of Hepatitis B core antibody and Hepatitis B Virus DNA among apparently healthy male blood donors in Eastern Libya

1 Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tripoli, Tripoli; National Centre for Disease Control, Tobruk, Libya
2 Department of Laboratory, Faculty of Medical Technology, University of Tobruk, Tobruk, Libya
3 National Centre for Disease Control; Department of Laboratory, Faculty of Medical Technology, University of Tobruk, Tobruk, Libya

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Faisal F Ismail
Department of Laboratory, Faculty of Medical Technology, University of Tobruk, Tobruk
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/LJMS.LJMS_47_17

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Background/Objectives: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection represents one of the most serious blood transfusion-transmitted viral infections. By implementation of the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) screening assay, blood banks in Libya have been considerably increased blood transfusion safety in term of protecting against the transmission of HBV infection. However, several studies demonstrated that donors who are HBsAg negative and hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc) positive maybe a potential source for posttransfusion hepatitis B. The aim of this study is to determine the presence of anti-HBc and HBV DNA (hepatitis B viral DNA) in healthy HBsAg-negative blood donors in eastern Libya (Tobruk region). Materials and Methods: A total of 500 serum samples were tested for HBsAg and obtained from healthy blood donors in blood bank unit in Tobruk Medical Center. All donors were tested for anti-HBc, using commercial ELISA and microwell methods (MBS-SRL, Milano, Italy). The reactive samples were further tested for the presence of HBV DNA using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Results: In this study, the seroprevalence rate of anti-HBc sample was 54 (10.8%) among donors. The majority of anti-HBc-positive cases (52 of 54) were in the age group of 20–49 years. Of the 54 anti-HBc-positive samples, 4 (7.4%) were tested positive for HBV DNA by PCR. Conclusion: Among all the samples, the rate of anti-HBc was 10.8%. This finding is comparable to a previous study performed in northwestern Libya. The present study estimated the expected exclusion rate of anti-HBc-positive donated blood that would be an important factor to consider before adopting anti-HBc testing in addition to HBsAg testing as a mandatory screening test to further enhance transfusion safety.

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