Intra-familial Transmission of Hepatitis B Virus Infection in Arak, Central Iran

Document Type: Original Research

Authors

1 Infectious Diseases Research Center (IDRC), Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran

2 Iranian Society for Support of Patients with Infectious Disease, Tehran, Iran

3 Arak University of Medical Sciences, Arak, Iran

4 Clinical Research Dept., Pasteur Institute of Iran, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Background: The household transmission of hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a major health problem. High incidence of HBV infection is observed within the household contacts of HBV carriers. We aimed to evaluate serological markers of hepatitis B infection among family members of HBV carriers in Arak, central Iran.
Methods: Data were collected from the 100 chronic HBV carriers (subjects with positive HBsAg for at least 6 months period) as index cases and 700 members of their family. Then, we checked serologic markers of hepatitis B [hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc) and hepatitis B surface antibody (anti- HBs)] using the ELISA test.
Results: The prevalence rate of HBsAg, anti-HBs and anti-HBc among household members was 23.3%, 20.4% and 23% respectively. Isolated anti-HBc (positive anti-HBc with negative HBsAg and anti-HBs) found in 0.4% of family members. Mothers and children with 47.6% and 17.2% had the highest and lowest rates of HBV infection, respectively (P=0.00). There was a significant difference between mothers and spouses of index case (47.6% and 29.8%) regarding HBsAg positivity (P=0.03).
Conclusion:  The low rate of HBV infection reported in children reveal the effective prevention of HBV transmission with the universal vaccination programs and also importance of pregnant women screening for HBV serological markers.

Keywords


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