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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 22  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 534-538

Serological and virological markers of nigerian patients with hepatitis B infection

1 Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
2 Human Virology Laboratory, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Lagos, Nigeria
3 Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Ogun State, Nigeria
4 Clinical Science Division, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. O A Lesi
Department of Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njcp.njcp_273_17

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Background: The natural history of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and the spectrum of diseases attributable to chronic hepatitis B are diverse. It is estimated that 15%–25% of chronic carriers will die from complications of progressive disease such as liver cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and hepatic decompensation. The main aim of this study is to evaluate the serological and virological profile of patients with hepatitis B infection to enhance the evaluation of the natural history of viral hepatitis in an endemic population. Methods: Characteristics of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) patients (2010–2016) were extracted from the database of a reference laboratory in Lagos. These included serological tests for hepatitis B antigens (HBeAg, HBsAg), antibodies (anti-HBcIgM, anti-HBeAb) (DIA.PRO), and HBV DNA (Roche Diagnostics). SPSS version 20.0 was used for data analysis. Results: Of the 1,983 patients, 1,252 were male and 731 female. HBeAg was detected in 8.0% (128/1,605) of the subjects, anti-HBe was positive in 90.0% (1,257/1,396), while HBcore subclass IgM antibody was detected in 12.6% (116/930). Detectable HBV DNA was identified in 1,781 (89%), with viral load exceeding 2,001 IU/mL in 712 (35.9%) subjects. HBV viral loads >200,000 IU/mL were more frequently detected in HBeAg-positive compared with HBeAg-negative subjects (65.7% vs 4.9%, P < 0.0001). Conclusion: We have demonstrated the predominance of low replicative phase HBV infection and highlighted the importance of HBeAg-negative infections that may require antiviral therapy. HBeAg-positive infections occurred significantly in younger adults with new or acute infections. Our findings have implications for patient evaluation and planning of hepatitis treatment programs.

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