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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 56-60

Prevalence of hepatitis B and hepatitis C viral infections and impact of control program among blood donors in Al-Baha region, Saudi Arabia


1 Departments of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Baha University, Al-Baha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Baha University, Al-Baha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
3 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Baha University, Al-Baha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
4 Central Laboratory and Blood Bank, Al-Baha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Talal A Sallam
Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Baha University, P. O. Box: 1988, Al-Baha
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/sjhs.sjhs_197_19

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Background: A low prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections has been previously reported in Al-Baha. The present study reexamines the prevalence of HBV and HCV infection among blood donors 3 years following a previous study in an attempt to detect an impact of control measures. Materials and Methods: This 29-month retrospective study was conducted from October 2014 to May 2017. A total of 3,461 blood donors were screened for serological and molecular markers for HBV and HCV. Results: The mean age of the donors was 32.4 ± 10. 1 (range: 17–67). Of all donors 10 (0.3%) had HBsAg while 253 (7.3%) had anti-HBc in absence of HBsAg. Anti-HCV was detected in 8 (0.2%) donors, of whom 6 (75.0%) were also HCV-RNA positive. HBV-DNA was detected in 12 (0.4%) donors, of whom 10 (83.3%) had concurrent HBsAg, whereas 2 (16.7%) had HBV-DNA with anti-HBc as the only HBV marker. The donors born after inclusion of HBV vaccine in expanded program of immunization (EPI) had a significantly (P < 0.05) lower prevalence of HBsAg, anti-HBc, and HBV-DNA. Although insignificant (P = 0.197), a lower prevalence of HCV infection was detected among the donors who were born after implementing the screening policy for HCV infection. Conclusion: Compared to a previous report, this study detected a further reduction in the prevalence of HBV, whereas the decline of the prevalence of HCV infection merits further investigation.


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