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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Hepatitis B Infection among high risk population: a seroepidemiological survey in Southwest of Iran

Abdolmajid Khosravani1, Bahador Sarkari2*, Halimeh Negahban1, Asghar Sharifi1, Mehdi Akbartabar Toori3 and Owrang Eilami1

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Medicine, Yasouj University of Medical Sciences, Yasouj, Iran

2 Basic Sciences in Infectious Diseases Research center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Yasouj University of Medical Sciences, Yasouj, Iran

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2012, 12:378  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-378

Published: 27 December 2012

Abstract

Background

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remains a major global health problem. This study aimed to assess the prevalence and risk behaviors for HBV infection among high risk groups in Kohgiloyeh and Boyerahmad province, in Southwest of Iran.

Methods

Blood samples were collected from 2009 subjects, between 2009 and 2010 in Kohgiloyeh and Boyerahmad province, in southwest of Iran. Recruited subjects were the high risk groups for HBV infection, including inmates, injecting drug users, health care workers, patients on maintenance haemodialysis, hemophilic patients and patients with a history of blood transfusion. Their serum samples were tested for the presence of antibodies to hepatitis B core antigen (HBc IgM, IgG) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Seropositive specimens were tested for HBsAg. Demographic features of participants were recorded during sample collecting.

Results

HBsAg was detected in 24 of the 2009 subjects, giving an overall prevalence of 1.2%. All HBsAg positive cases were males. The prevalence of HBsAg among injection drug users was 3.2%. Significant correlation was found between HBV infection and drug abuse, level of education and place of residence (p<0.05), while no significant correlation was found between HBV infection and previous history of blood transfusion, unprotected sexual behavior, and thalassemia.

Conclusion

Based on the findings of this study, incarceration and drug abuse are the most important risk factors for acquiring HBV infection in this region. Modifying behavior, improving the individual education and expanding the HBV vaccination coverage may reduce the rate of infection in the region.

Keywords:
Seroprevalence; HBV; High risk group; Prevalence; Iran