Annals of African Medicine
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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 20-27

Seroprevalence of hepatitis B virus serological markers among pregnant Nigerian women

Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Maryam Aminu
Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1596-3519.172555

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Background: Chronic hepatitis B infection is a global problem; however, Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are most affected by it. Hepatitis B status of pregnant women is essential for the effective management of the disease and prevention of mother to child transmission. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted at the antenatal care unit of four hospitals within Kaduna Metropolis, Nigeria, between August and December 2011. After obtaining ethical clearance, blood samples were collected from 800 consenting pregnant women, the plasma were screened for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) using first response HBsAg card and the reactive sera were confirmed with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Other serological markers of hepatitis B virus (HBV) were detected using the one-step HBV multi-5 test kit. Results: Of the 800 pregnant women screened, 31 (3.9%) tested positive for HBsAg. Only one of the 31 HBsAg positive women had developed the hepatitis B surface antibody, 16 (51.6%) had the envelop antibody, 18 (58.1%) had the hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc), and two (6.5%) had hepatitis B envelop antigen (HBeAg). The highest prevalence of HBsAg was recorded among women in age group 21–25 years old (P = 0.968). Similarly, married women (P = 0.772), women in their second trimester of pregnancy (P = 0.938), women with tertiary education (P = 0.972), women from the South-East geopolitical zone (P = 0.250) and those whose husbands were in polygamous relationships (P = 0.944) had the highest seroprevalence of HBsAg. Conclusion: HBV was detected with a prevalence of 3.9% among pregnant women in Kaduna Metropolis, Nigeria. About 96.8% (29) of the reactive women had HBeAg negative chronic hepatitis while 6.5% (2) had HBeAg positive chronic hepatitis B infection. About 58.1% of the women had anti-HBc, hence, did not have immunity and probably had chronic infection with reduced risk of vertical transmission. Pregnant women should be screened for HBsAg at the first antenatal clinic visit for appropriate clinical management and effective prevention of vertical transmission.

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