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Open Access Research article

Seroprevalence of hepatitis B and C viral co-infections among children infected with human immunodeficiency virus attending the paediatric HIV care and treatment center at Muhimbili National Hospital in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania

Safila P Telatela1*, Mecky I Matee2 and Emmanuel K Munubhi1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences, P.O. Box 65001, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

2 Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences, P.O. Box 65347, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

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BMC Public Health 2007, 7:338  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-7-338

Published: 22 November 2007

Abstract

Background

With increased availability of antibiotics and antifungal agents hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections are becoming a cause for significant concern in HIV infected children. We determined the seroprevalence and risk factors for HBV and HCV among HIV infected children aged 18 months to 17 years, attending the Paediatric HIV Care and Treatment Center (CTC) at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.

Methods

Investigations included; interviews, physical examination and serology for HBsAg, IgG antibodies to HCV and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels. HIV serostatus and CD4 counts were obtained from patient records.

Results

167 HIV infected children, 88(52.7%) males and 79(47.3%) females were enrolled. The overall prevalence of hepatitis co-infection was 15%, with the seroprevalence of HBV and HCV being 1.2% and 13.8%, respectively. Hepatitis virus co-infection was not associated with any of the investigated risk factors and there was no association between HBV and HCV. Elevated ALT was associated with hepatitis viral co-infection but not with ART usage or immune status.

Conclusion

The high seroprevalence (15%) of hepatitis co-infection in HIV infected children attending the Paediatrics HIV CTC at the MNH calls for routine screening of hepatitis viral co-infection and modification in the management of HIV infected children.