Author(s): Christensen PB, Titlestad IL, Homburg KM, Georgsen J, Kristensen T, Christensen PB, Titlestad IL, Homburg KM, Georgsen J, Kristensen T
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Abstract BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The aim of this work was to determine the prevalence of antibodies to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) among Danish blood donors and to correlate this with risk factors for blood-borne and sexually transmitted diseases. MATERIALS AND METHODS: During a 5-month period, 10 862 consecutive donors in the County of Funen were screened for anti-HBc, and repeat-reactive samples were confirmed by supplementary testing. Information on risk factors was assessed by questionnaire in 585 consecutive anti-HBc-negative blood donors and compared with information obtained from confirmed positive donors. RESULTS: The prevalence of confirmed positive anti-HBc among donors was 0.70\% (76/10 862, 95\% confidence interval [CI]: 0.55-0.87). One donor was positive for anti-HBc immunoglobulin M (IgM); none tested positive for hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA. In a logistic regression analysis, age, female gender, tattoos and commercial sexual relations, were independent predictive factors for the presence of anti-HBc. CONCLUSION: Anti-HBc is a surrogate marker for previous risk behaviour in the Danish blood donor population. We suggest that screening for anti-HBc may be used among new donors to supplement interviews on risk behaviour.
This article was published in Vox Sang
and referenced in Journal of Blood Disorders & Transfusion