Prevalence of hepatitis B and C virus infection among people of a local community in Keffi, Nigeria


Grace Rinmecit Pennap1*, Aliyu Yakubu1, Odula Oyige1and Joseph Forbi2

Hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV) virus infections have remained recurring decimals in blood transfusion, vertical transmission, liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Most of the published studies of their prevalence in Northern Nigeria are among HIV/AIDS patients. The need for such vital information among an apparently healthy population was the basis for this study. Rapid diagnostic tests were used to screen for HBsAg and anti-HCV antibodies among people of a local community in Northern Nigeria. Of the 113 volunteers screened, 15(13.2%) were positive for each of the viruses while 10(8.85%) were found to be coinfected with the viruses. The gender related prevalence of HBsAg was 9.5% in females and 24.1% in males. Anti-HCV was reactive in 16% of the females and 3.4% of the males. Coinfection was 10.3 and 8.33% for males and females, respectively (p > 0.05). Age related prevalence for HBsAg was 13.8 and 11.5% among those aged 1 - 40 years and above 40 years, respectively and similarly 12.6 and 15.4% for anti-HCV antibodies, respectively. Coinfection was 8.0% among those aged 1 - 40 years old and 11.5% among those that were older. There was no statistically significant association between age, and presence/absence of facial/body marks with viral infection (p > 0.05). This study revealed 13.3% of apparently healthy individuals harbouring each of the viruses (HBV and HCV) and also a relatively high prevalence of coinfection (8.85%). This finding is a cause for alarm.

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