Occult Hepatitis B Prevalence in Hepatitis B Vaccinated Dialysis Patients
Bakici, Mustafa Zahir
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OBJECTIVE: Occult hepatitis B (OHB) virus infection is defined as the presence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA in the liver tissue or serum of subjects seronegative for hepatitis B surface antigen. OHB leads to the potential risk of transmission in dialysis service. Routine HBV vaccine in dialysis patients is recommended. However, HBV vaccine response rates are lower than the community. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of OHB in hepatitis B vaccinated dialysis patients. MATERIAL and METHODS: This study was performed at the Nephrology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Cumhuriyet University, between 1st January -31st December 2014. Sera from 200 dialysis patients with negative HbsAg were investigated for HBV DNA using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). RESULTS: The mean age of the patients was 59.57 +/- 14.89 (18-91) years; 179 of them were on hemodialysis and 21 were on peritoneal dialysis. Of the patients included in the study, anti-HBs positivity was present in 135 (67.5%) and anti-HBs negativity in 65 (32.5%). The OHB prevalence was 1.5% (n=3). CONCLUSION: In our study, the OHB prevalence was 1.5%. We assume that HBV infection would be reduced further by routinely applying HBV PCR tests for all patients who start dialysis and by taking precautions against transmission.