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Hepatitis B virus infection among asymptomatic residents of low income community in Ibadan, Southwest, Nigeria.

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INTRODUCTION:

Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infection is one of the most infectious diseases worldwide and a major public health concern. In spite of efforts at controlling the scourge globally, HBV continues to thrive in developing countries, such as Nigeria due to ignorance on its mode of transmission and its asymptomatic nature in the populace. Therefore, this community-based study was carried out in Yemetu community in Ibadan, Nigeria to determine the burden of HBV infection among asymptomatic residents of this community.

METHODOLOGY:

Blood samples were aseptically collected from consenting 150 participants, male (m = 49) and female (f = 101), age ranged 15->55 years (Median age = 27.3 years). Astructured questionnaire was used to capture demographic data and other relevant information from these participants. Sera from these samples were tested for HBsAg using a 3rd generation Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent-Assay (ELISA) Wantai HBV Diagnostics kit. Data were analyzed using Chi-square and ANOVA at 95% CI with P < 0.05 considered as significant.

RESULTS:

An overall seroprevalence rate for HBV in this study was 7.3%. HBV infection was higher among male (8.2%) than in female (6.7%), 1.4 times higher in male compared to their female counterparts (OR = 1.37, 95%CI 1.01-2.06) and also statistically significant (P = 0.043). Participants in the age groups 25-34 (10.3%) and >55 (4.2%) years had highest and lowest rates of HBV infection, respectively. Further analysis of the results by occupation shows that HBV infection was highest among Artisans (10.7%), followed by Students (6.9%) and Traders (6.9%) and lowest (5.6%) among Civil servants who are sexually active, married and unmarried. However, these differences were not statistically significant (P = 0.081).

CONCLUSION:

This study reported relatively high prevalence for HBV infection among asymptomatic population, which is of public health importance and this calls for urgent attention. Therefore, public sensitization on HBV transmission and control for all through voluntary counseling and testing is advocated.

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