Published: 2017-01-02

A study in the seroprevalence of hepatitis B core antibody and other transfusion transmitted infections in blood donors

R. Raj Bharath, Veeran Krishnan


Background:Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection can lead to acute or chronic hepatitis. There is a phase during which the HBsAg cannot be detected in the blood, although hepatitis B infection is present. During this window period, detection of the antibody to the hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) serves as a useful serological marker for hepatitis B infection. This study was undertaken to detect the Hepatitis B core antibody and other transfusion transmitted infections (HBsAg, HIV, HCV, Malaria and Syphilis) among healthy blood donors in the Kancheepuram district, TamilNadu and its impact in our blood transfusion services.

Methods: A total of 6954 blood donors were selected. 5 ml of blood from each donor was collected from the collection bag into a sterile capped tube. It was then centrifuged and the plasma was sepa-rated and stored as two aliquots at -70°C till further use. The screening for the Hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc) was done by a competitive immunoassay technique with ortho clinical diagnostics Anti-HBc (IgM and IgG) reagent kit and were run in a fully automated Vitros Immunodiagnostics system.

Results: Of the total 6954 donor blood samples which were tested, 713 samples (10.2%) were found to be positive for anti-HBc (IgM and IgG) and 93 samples (1.3%) were found to be positive for HBsAg.

Conclusions: Our study helped in determining the prevalence of hepatitis B core antibody and its subsequent detrimental effect on the blood donor population due to its high prevalence rate.



HBsAg, HIV, HCV, Vitros immunodiagnostics system

Full Text:



Gerlich WH. Medical virology of Hepatitis B how it began and where we are now. Virology Journal. 2013;10:239.

Bharat S, Monika V, Karttikaye V. The markers for transfusion-associated hepatitis in north Indian blood donors: the prevalence and the trends. Jpn J Infect Dis. 2004;57:49-51.

Kumar H, Gupta PK, Jaiprakash M. The role of anti-HBc IgM in screening of blood donors. MJAFI. 2007;63:350-2.

Dhawan HK, Marwaha N, Sharma RR, Chawla Y, Thakral B, Saluja K, et al. Anti-HBc screening in Indian blood donors: Still an unresolved issue. World J Gastroenterol. 2008;14:5327-30.

Bhattacharya P, Chandra PK, Datta S, Banerjee A, Chakraborty S, Rajendran K, et al. Significant increase in HBV, HCV, HIV and syphilis infections among blood donors in West Bengal, Eastern India 2004-2005. Exploratory screening reveals high frequency of occult HBV infection. World J Gastroenterol. 2007;13:3730-3.

Maheswari KS, Arun R, Arumugam P. The prevalence of Hepatitis B core antibody and the occult hepatitis B infection among voluntary blood donors in Chennai, India. J Clin Diagn Res. 2012;6(10):1710-2.

Singh K, Bhat S, Shastry S. Trend in seroprevalence of Hepatitis B virus infection among blood donors of coastal Karnataka, India. J Infect Dev Ctries. 2009;3(5):376-9.

Kaur G, Basu S, Kaur R, Kaur P, Garg S. Patterns of infections among blood donors in atertiary care centre: a retrorespective study. Natl Med J India. 2010;23:147-9.

Makroo RN, Mohit C, Aakanksha B, Bhavna A, Rosamma NL. Hepatitis B core antibody testing in Indian blood donors: a double-edged sword. Asian J Transfus Sci. 2012;6:10-3.

Sawke NG, Sawke GK. Preventing post transfusion hepatitis by screening blood donors for IgM antibody to Hepatitis B core antigen. J Glob Infect Dis. 2010;2:246-7.

Margaret OJ, Olufisayo AA, Emmanuel D, Moses OA. The Hepatitis B Core IgM antibody (anti-HBc IgM) among the Hepatitis B Surface antigen (HBsAg) negative blood donors in Nigeria. Virology Journal. 2011;8:513-17.

Allain JP. On behalf of the ISBT TTI working party HBV safety study group. Characterization of occult HBV yield cases identified by NAT (ID or small pool) or anti-HBc screening.

Laperche S. Blood safety and nucleic acid testing in Europe. Euro Surveill. 2005;10:516.

El-Sherif AM, Abou-Shady MA, Al-Hiatmy MA, Al-Bahrawy AM, Motawea EA. Screening for hepatitis B virus infection in Egyptian blood donors negative for hepatitis B surface antigen. Hepatol Int. 2007;1:469-70.