Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 180-184

Sero-prevalence of Hepatitis B Virus infection in Balochistan province of Pakistan

1 Department of Haematology & Transfusion Medicine, Bolan Medical College Complex, Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan
2 Department of Cardiology, Addenbrooke's Hospital NHS Trust, Cambridge, United Kingdom
3 Department of Gastroenterology, Shaikh Zayed Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan
4 Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Royal Free Hospital NHS Trust, London, United Kingdom
5 AIDS Control Program, Balochistan, Pakistan
6 Institute of Public Health, Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan

Correspondence Address:
Azeem S Sheikh
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United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1319-3767.80380

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Background/Aim: The objective was to evaluate the sero-prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and IgM antibodies to hepatitis core antigen in Balochistan Province of Pakistan. Design of the study: A cross-sectional, population-based study. Place and time of the study: The study was conducted in Balochistan from 1 st January 2004 to 31 st December, 2008. The screening areas included Barkhan, Eashani, Khuzdar, Kodi Zikriani, Kohlu, Rakhni and Turbat. Materials and Methods: A total of 15,260 subjects were enrolled; 11,900 (78%) agreed to undergo screening. Fresh serum samples were tested for the presence of hepatitis B surface antigen and IgM antibodies to hepatitis B core antigen. Results: HBsAg was detected in 1166 (9.8%) while anti-HBc IgM was found in 117 (10.0%). HBsAg positivity was seen in 875 (12.7%) males and 291 (5.8%) females. The prevalence of hepatitis B in Balochistan varies from 3.3% in Khuzdar to 17.0% in Kodi Zikriani. Conclusions: It is utmost important to educate the public, to take proper measures to control the spread of infection and vaccination in order to interrupt transmission of this threatening public health problem in Balochistan province of Pakistan.

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