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Open Access Research article

Epidemiology of hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus infections in pregnant women in Sana’a, Yemen

Entisar A Murad1, Suad M Babiker2, Gasim I Gasim3, Duria A Rayis3 and Ishag Adam3*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, AL Kuwait hospital, Sana’a, Yemen

2 Faculty of Medicine, Alzaiem Alazhari University, Khartoum North, Sudan

3 Faculty of Medicine, University of Khartoum, P O Box102, Khartoum, Sudan

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BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 2013, 13:127  doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-127

Published: 7 June 2013

Abstract

Background

Screening for Hepatitis B and C during pregnancy may help to decide on appropriate antiviral therapy and the institution of steps to minimize vertical transmission to the newborn infants.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted during November–December 2011 to investigate the seroprevalence and associated risk factors for markers of HBV (hepatitis B surface antigen; HBsAg) and anti-HCV antibody among pregnant women at the Al-Thawra hospital in Sana’a, Yemen. Structured questionnaires were used to obtain sociodemographic obstetrics and medical data and sera were tested for HBsAg and anti-HCV.

Results

Of the 400 pregnant women enrolled in the study, HBsAg and anti-HCV were detected in 43 (10.8%; 95% CI: 8.0–14.0%) and 34 (8.5%, 95% CI: 6.0–11.5%) women, respectively. None of the women were co-infected with HBV and HCV. Multivariate analysis showed that circumcision was significantly associated with HBsAg seropositivity (OR = 3.3, 95% CI: 1.1–10.2; p = 0.03), low parity (primigravidae and secundigravidae) and education below secondary level were significantly associated with anti- HCV seropositivity (OR = 3.3, 95% CI: 1.1–10.2; p = 0.03). No other sociodemographic or clinical characteristics (age, residence, history of home delivery, miscarriage, dental manipulation, surgery, and blood transfusion) were significantly associated with HBsAg or anti-HCV seropositivity.

Conclusion

The results of this study suggest that HBsAg and anti-HCV have high prevalence among pregnant women.