Sero-epidemiological study of family-members of HBsAg positive chronic carriers in Zahedan city (Southeastern Iran)
28 January 2017
Background and Aims: The household transmission of hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a major health problem. The prevalence rate of this infection is reported about 11% to 57% among family members of HBsAg carriers. This study conducted to evaluate serological determinants of chronic hepatitis B infection, especially HBsAg positivity among family members of asymptomatic HBsAg positive carriers in Zahedan city (Southeastern Iran).
Materials and Methods: In a cross-sectional study, data were collected for a total of 454 HBsAg – positive cases and 1817 members of their family by trained interviewers and a validated questionnaire. Additionally blood samples were obtained and tittered to detect serologic markers of hepatitis B.
Results: In this study totaly, 454 chronic HBsAg carriers (66% male and 34% female) with an average age of 36 ± 10 years and 1817 of their family members were included. The prevalence rate of HBsAg and HBc-Ab positivity among household members were 19.3% (n = 351) and 51% (n = 573), respectively. The frequency of HBV markers was different by age groups. The highest prevalence rate of HBsAg (35%) and HBc-Ab (32%) positivity were found in the age group of 21-30 years old. Importantly, the mothers of index cases had the highest prevalence of HBsAg positivity compared with their spouses who had the lowest proportion (53.2% vs. 8.4%, p<0.001).
Conclusion: In family members, HBsAg-positivity was greater than the general indigenous population. Suggesting the importance of close contacts for transmission. It was more prevalent in mothers of index cases than their spouses. Suggesting the more efficient mother to child transmission than sexually transmission of HBV. And in those having a history of hepatitis B in maternal family in comparison with the paternal one, which may be due to more efficient transmission from infected mothers to children.
Key words: Hepatitis B, Transmission, Intra-familial, Prevention, Zahedan,