Seroepidemiology of Transfusion Transmissible Viral Infection among University Fresh Students in Port Harcourt, Nigeria


Zaccheaus Awortu Jeremiah 1 , * , Evelyn Ovenome Tony Enwin 2

1 Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Niger Delta University, [email protected], Rivers State, Nigeria

2 Health Services Department, Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Nigeria

How to Cite: Jeremiah Z, Enwin E. Seroepidemiology of Transfusion Transmissible Viral Infection among University Fresh Students in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Hepat Mon. Online ahead of Print ; 9(4):276-281.


Hepatitis Monthly: 9 (4); 276-281
Article Type: Research Article
Received: July 20, 2009
Accepted: October 26, 2009


Background and Aims: Most studies on the prevalence of transfusion-transmissible infections (TTIs) have been done on preselected blood donors. There is paucity of information on the prevalence of these TTIs in the general population in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Methods: A total of 1,500 apparently healthy individuals aged 17-50 years consisting of 701 (46.7%) males and 799 (53.3%) females were tested for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV) using Determine and Genie II HIV-1/HIV-2, Clinotech hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), and HCV kits.

Results: Prevalence rates of 1.7%, 2.1%, and 0.1% were obtained for HIV, HBV, and HCV, respectively. A breakdown of HIV prevalence gave HIV-1 (1.1%), HIV-2 (0.27%), and HIV-1 /2 (0.33%). From the 1,500 subjects tested, 357 (23.8%) belong to the Ijaw, 408 (27.2%) to Ikwerre, 201(13.4%) to Ogoni/Eleme, 75 (5.0%) Ekpeye and 459(30.6%) belong to the other ethnic groups. Other ethnic groups accounted for the highest prevalence of HIV and HBsAg. Youths aged 21 to 30 constituted the highest number of HIV and hepatitis infections. Of the 23 subjects positive for HIV, 16 (1.2%) had HIV-1, 4 (0.3%) had HIV-2, and 5 (0.5%) had the HIV-1/2. Of the 1,500 subjects tested, 0.2% had HIV and HBV co-infection. Chi-square analysis indicated that age was a risk factor for the transmission of the three transmissible infections (P < 0.01, P < 0.05, and P < 0.05 for HIV, HBsAg, and HCV, respectively). Gender had an influence on HIV and HBsAg (P < 0.05). There was also a positive association between the ethnic groups and the TTIs (χ2 = 18.136, P < 0.01 for HIV; χ2 = 2.785, P < 0.05 for HBsAg; and χ2 = 2.411, P < 0.05 for HCV). The 0.1% prevalence of HCV in this study occurred exclusively among nonnatives.

Conclusions: This study has provided epidemiological data on some transfusion-transmissible viral infections in Port Harcourt and has identified some risk factors associated with it. To ensure safety in blood-transfusion practices, selection and screening of donors within the high-risk groups, especially individuals 21 to 30 years old, should be thorough and in accordance with the approved safety guidelines.

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