oa Molecular Diagnosis and Vaccines - Genotypes and serological markers of Hepatitis B virus among patients with chronic Hepatitis B virus infection in Taif, Saudi Arabia
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is endemic in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). This study highlights the distribution of HBV serological markers and its genotypes in patients with chronic hepatitis B infection Serum samples from 232 chronically HBV infected patients were collected from Taif, KSA during the period from 2001 to 2004. Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), antibodies to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc), hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg), and antibodies to hepatitis B e antigen (anti-HBe) were assessed by ELISA. Existence of HBV-DNA was determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). HBV genotypes were determined using the INNO-LiPA assay kit. Positive HBsAg was highly prevalent (71.6%) followed by HBeAg (18.1%). The prevalence among Saudi patients was 27.6% for HBsAg, 10.3% for HBeAg, 1.3% for anti-HBc, and 0.9% for anti-HBe, as while for non-Saudi patients it was 44.0, 7.8, 1.7, and 6.5% respectively. Prevalence of HBsAg among non-Saudi nationalities showed a high rate among Filipino (16/16; 100%), followed by Bangladeshi (19/21; 90.5%), Pakistani (21/28; 75%), Egyptians (11/18; 61.1%) then Indians (21/35; 60%). In all groups the prevalence of HBsAg was higher in males than females. HBV-DNA was detected in only 31.5% Saudi and 46.6% non-Saudi patients with chronic hepatitis B infection. However, HBV genotype distribution in the 181 viremic patients was as follows; in Saudi population B, 63 (34.8%); C, 8 (4.4%) and A, 2 (1.1%), while that in non-Saudi patients was B, 74 (41.4%); C, 22 (12.2%); A, 5 (2.8%), and E, 4 (2.2%). Type B was mainly expressed in patients with positive HBsAg and HBeAg marker (77.2%, and 72.7% respectively), followed by patients with positivity for anti-HBc and anti-HBe (66.7, and 62.5% respectively). In conclusion, HBsAg and genotype B are the predominant marker and genotype respectively in patients with chronic HBV infection in Taif, Saudi Arabia.
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