Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in Nigeria has remained a public health issue and a major cause of mortality especially in developing countries. Vertical transmission of hepatitis B virus infection is thought to be one of the major routes of transmission in developing countries. In spite of this, routine antenatal screening for hepatitis infection is not yet practiced in many Nigerian hospitals. This study was undertaken with the aim of determining the prevalence of HBsAg antibodies among women attending ante-natal clinic at General Hospital Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria. A total of one hundred and fifty women were recruited for this study between January and March, 2012 and were screened for anti-HBsAg antibodies using the one step rapid HBsAg Test Kit (Hypertec. Diagnostic, Germany). The anti-HBsAg prevalence was determined to be 4% (6/150) with the highest prevalence (7.14%) recorded in pregnant women aged 26-30 years. The trimester related prevalence of HBsAg was highest (5.88%) among women on their 2nd trimester. Statistical analysis revealed that age and trimester were not statistically associated (P > 0.05) with HBsAg antibodies prevalence. The findings of high prevalence of HBsAg in antenatal women in their 2nd trimester during which the fetus undergo certain developmental processes possess high risk to the developing fetus.
HBV, Cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma
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