Author(s): Mohammed Abdullah S
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Infections caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and the hepatitis C virus (HCV) are global public health problems. The safety of donated blood can be estimated by monitoring the prevalence of viral markers in the donor population. The present study was carried out in the Jazan region to determine the prevalence of HBV and HCV among Saudi blood donors. METHODS: Over a period of six years (January 2004 to December 2009), a total of 29 949 blood units were collected from healthy voluntary and replacement native Saudi blood donors. The donated units were serologically screened for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc), and antibody to hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV). These data were then analysed. RESULTS: HBsAg was positive in 3.8\% of the blood units that were collected, the blood units with anti-HCV seropositivity had the lowest prevalence (0.41\%), and the prevalence of HBsAg was highest in the group that was > 46 years of age. A significant decline in the prevalence of HBV infection has been observed, from 5.6\% in 2004 to 2.3\% in 2009 (P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: The present study showed that the prevalence of HBV and HCV was in a significant decline from 2004 to 2009, and the prevalence of HBsAg and anti-HCV significantly increased with age.
This article was published in Malays J Med Sci
and referenced in Journal of Blood Disorders & Transfusion