Author(s): J. A. Ndako, F. C. Onwuliri, J. M. Banda, O. O. Alejolowo, V. Fajobi, D. O. Olapade
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a serious global public health problem and responsible for most common liver infection worldwide. The infection if contracted early in life, may lead to chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. The aim of this study was to determine Hepatitis B Surface Antigenemia (HBsAg) and risk factors of transmission among apparently healthy asymptomatic individual volunteers in Jos metropolis. In order to estimate and further evaluate prevalence rate of HBsAg in our population of study, a well-structured questionnaire was used to obtain the social and demographic information of consenting participants, while ethical approval was sought and obtained. Two hundred (200) volunteer subjects were enrolled for the study, three milliliter (3ml) of venous blood samples were collected aseptically by venipuncture.Sera obtained were assayed for the HBsAg using the HBsAg test strip (Acon Laboratory incorporated USA).Confirmatory tests were performed for Serum HBsAg by using a third generation enzyme linked Immunosorbent assay (HBsAg ELISA)-(Bio-Rad Laboratories, Incorporated California, USA). Overall results showed a prevalence of 45(22.5%) positivity among subjects screened. considering gender 25 (12.5%) were males while 20 (10.0%) were females,(p = 0.020),Age distribution showed that subjects aged 25-29 years recorded a prevalence of 10(12.5%);(p = 0.001), this is relatively high in view of the fact that the study subjects were a apparently healthy population. Clinical risk factors showed that 2.5% of sero-positive subject had a history of blood transfusion(p = 0.480),while4.5% had a record of previous STD infection (p = 0.423).Serological markers among the apparently healthy individuals screened showed; 40 (20.0%), 29 (14.5%), 8 (4.0%), 20 (10.0%) and 38 (19.0%) for HBsAg, Anti HBs, HBeAg, Anti HBe and Anti HBc respectively (P< 0.005).Changes in liver enzymes among subjects that tested positive for the HBV showed that. the apparently healthy individuals recorded an abnormality of 13(28.9%) respectively, [P= 0.0144;( P<0.005)]. This study however confirms the presence of Hepatitis B surface antigenemia among apparently healthy individuals in our study locations. This calls for mass immunization and public health education on the dangers of this infectious agent in the population.
Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBsAg), Apparently Healthy Volunteers, Serological Markers
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