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Open Access Research article

Serology based disease status of Pakistani population infected with Hepatitis B virus

Muhammad Masroor Alam1, Soahil Zahoor Zaidi2*, Salman Akbar Malik3, Asif Naeem1, Shahzad Shaukat1, Salmaan Sharif1, Mehar Angez1, Anis Khan1 and Javed Aslam Butt4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Virology, National Institute of Health, Islamabad, Pakistan

2 Head of Department of Virology, Principal Investigator-WHO Regional Reference Laboratory for Polio Eradication Initiative, National Institute of Health, Islamabad, Pakistan

3 Head of Department of Biochemistry, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan

4 Head of Department of Gastroenterology, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad, Pakistan

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2007, 7:64  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-7-64

Published: 27 June 2007

Abstract

Background

The infection rate of hepatitis B virus is continuously increasing in Pakistan. Therefore, a comprehensive study of epidemiological data is the need of time.

Methods

A total of 1300 individuals were screened for HBV infection markers including HBsAg, anti-HBsAg, HBeAg and anti-HBcAg. The association of these disease indicators was compared with patients' epidemiological characteristics like age, socio-economic status and residential area to analyze and find out the possible correlation among these variables and the patients disease status.

Results

52 (4%) individuals were found positive for HBsAg with mean age 23.5 ± 3.7 years. 9.30%, 33.47% and 12% individuals had HBeAg, antibodies for HBsAg, and antibodies for HBcAg respectively. HBsAg seropositivity rate was significantly associated (p = 0.03) with the residing locality indicating high infection in rural areas. Antibodies titer against HBsAg decreased with the increasing age reflecting an inverse correlation.

Conclusion

Our results indicate high prevalence rate of Hepatitis B virus infection and nationwide vaccination campaigns along with public awareness and educational programs are needed to be practiced urgently.