TITLE

Anti-HBc screening in Indian blood donors: Still an unresolved issue

AUTHOR(S)
Dhawan, Hari Krishan; Marwaha, Neelam; Sharma, Ratti Ram; Chawla, Yogesh; Thakral, Beenu; Saluja, Karan; Sharma, Sanjeev Kumar; Thakur, Manish K.; Jain, Ashish; Amarapurkar, Deepak Narayan
PUB. DATE
September 2008
SOURCE
World Journal of Gastroenterology;9/14/2008, Vol. 14 Issue 34, p5327
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
AIM: To study the seroprevalence of antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) in healthy blood donors negative for HBsAg and to evaluate whether anti-HBc detection could be adopted in India as a screening assay for HBV in addition to HBsAg. METHODS: A total of 1700 serum samples collected from HBsAg-negative healthy blood donors were tested for the presence of anti-HBc antibody (IgM + IgG). All samples reactive for anti-HBc antibody were then investigated for presence of anti-HBs and for liver function tests (LFTs). One hundred serum samples reactive for anti-HBc were tested for HBV DNA by PCR method. RESULTS: Out of 1700 samples tested, 142 (8.4%) blood samples were found to be reactive for anti-HBc. It was significantly lower in voluntary (6.9%) as compared to replacement donors (10.4%, P = 0.011). Seventy-two (50.7%) anti-HBc reactive samples were also reactive for anti-HBs with levels > 10 mIU/mL and 70 (49.3%) samples were non-reactive for anti-HBs, these units were labeled as anti-HBc-only. These 142 anti-HBc reactive units were also tested for liver function test. HBV DNA was detected in only 1 of 100 samples tested. CONCLUSION: Keeping in view that 8%-18% of donor population in India is anti-HBc reactive, inclusion of anti-HBc testing will lead to high discard rate. Anti-HBs as proposed previously does not seem to predict clearance of the virus. Cost effectiveness of introducing universal anti-HBc screening and discarding large number of blood units versus considering ID NAT (Individual donor nuclic acid testing) needs to be assessed.
ACCESSION #
36126068

 

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