Published: 2017-09-28

Prevalence of hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus infection in repeatedly transfused thalassemics in a tertiary care hospital in eastern India

Kheya Mukherjee, Debojyoti Bhattacharjee, Goutam Chakraborti


Background: Patients of thalassemia who are conventionally treated by a regular transfusion regimen are at a risk of developing transfusion transmissible infections, including hepatitis. The present study was conducted to assess the prevalence of hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus infections among repeatedly transfused thalassemia patients.

Methods: A total of 207 patients of beta-thalassemia, who had received at least 10 transfusions were tested for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and anti-HCV antibody using enzyme linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA).

Results: The overall number of anti-hepatitis C antibody seropositive was 51 (24.6%) and that for hepatitis B surface antigen positives was 7 (3.38%). The prevalence rate for hepatitis B surface antigen was in agreement with average national values, but in case of anti-HCV antibodies the prevalence rate values were comparatively much higher.

Conclusions: Stringent measures need to be taken on urgent basis while screening blood for anti-hepatitis C antibody and hepatitis B surface antigen including inclusion of other sensitive assay like nucleic acid test (NAT) as well as better donor recruitment.


HCV, HBV, Pretransfusion screening, Thalassemia

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