Occult Hepatitis B Virus Infection among Sickle Cell Anaemia Subjects in Lagos, Nigeria

Badiru, M.A ; Akinbami, A.A ; Uche, E.I ; Ibrahim, I.N ; Bamiro, R.A ; Adelekan, O.O ; Benjamin, A ; Suleiman, A.M ; Ogbenna, A.A ; Adeyemi, I.O ; Anaduaka, C.D (2021)

Scholarly article


Objective: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remains a major public health problem worldwide. HBV is one of the transfusion transmissible infections. Occult HVB infection (OBI) is the presence of HBV DNA in blood or liver tissue in hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) sero-negative subjects. Thus the absence of HBsAg in the blood is inadequate to determine the presence of occult HBV infections. This study aimed to determine the seroprevalence of occult HBV infection among sickle cell anaemia (HbSS) subjects in Lagos, Nigeria. Methods: This was a cross sectional study among 100 consenting adults HbSS patients attending the Haematology out-patient clinic at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja (LASUTH). All participants were screened for HbSAg using SD Biolin HbSAG rapid kit and those with negative results had HBV DNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Data were analysed by statistical package for social science (SPSS) version 23, p≤0.05 was considered significant. Results: The prevalence of occult HBV infection among HbSS participants was 1%, consisting of 1% prevalence for the surface antigen and 0% prevalence of pre-core and core antigens of the HBV DNA. Conclusion: The low prevalence (1%) of occult HBV seen in our study shows that it may not be cost-effective to routinely screen HbSS subjects for occult HBV infection using PCR.