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Frequency and significance of antibodies against hepatitis B core (anti-HBc) antigen as the only serological marker for hepatitis B infection in Lebanese blood donors

Ramia, S., Ramlawi, F., Kanaan, M., Klayme, S. and Naman, R. (2005) Frequency and significance of antibodies against hepatitis B core (anti-HBc) antigen as the only serological marker for hepatitis B infection in Lebanese blood donors. Journal of Epidemiology and Infections, 133 (4). pp. 695-699. ISSN 0950-2688

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Abstract

During a 2-year period, blood samples from 2505 Lebanese blood donors were chosen at random, at various periods of time at one blood donation centre (Hotel Dieu de France, Beirut, Lebanon) and were screened for markers of HBV infection (HBsAg, anti-HBc and anti-HBs). The study showed HBsAg positivity of 0·6% and an overall exposure rate to HBV of 10·0%. Out of the 2505 blood donors screened, 56 (2·2%) were found to be ‘anti-HBc alone’ positive which is almost four times the HBsAg positivity. The 56 ‘anti-HBc alone’ samples were retested by another ELISA kit commercially available and 54 samples were ‘anti-HBc alone’ positive by both assays. The 54 samples had no serological markers as evidence of infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV). Only seven (13%) out of the 54 samples were HBV DNA positive by PCR and all were HBV genotype D. All seven HBV DNA-positive samples had HBV DNA levels below 400 copies/ml. Although any circulating HBV DNA among our ‘anti-HBc alone’ blood donors was below the detection limit of our Amplicor Monitor assay, some of these samples had circulating virus. A national study, where a larger number of blood donors from different blood donation centres across the country will perhaps determine whether screening for anti-HBc in addition to HBsAg detection is needed in Lebanese blood donors.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Health Sciences (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2009 14:13
Last Modified: 03 Aug 2009 14:13
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0950268805003948
Status: Published
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Identification Number: 10.1017/S0950268805003948
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/6637

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