Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is prevalent in Gabon and poses a potential risk of transmission by blood transfusion. However, few studies have examined epidemiological data regarding HBV infection of Gabonese blood donors. This article reports on research conducted to estimate the seroprevalence of HBV and associated risk factors in the urban population of Gabon. A cross-sectional and analytic study survey of blood donors attending at the Gabonese National Blood Transfusion Center, was carried out between June and August 2020. The ELISA technique (Evolis®, BioRad) and the chemiluminescence technique (Cobas® e601, Roche) had been used for the detection of hepatitis B surface antigens in the plasma of donors. Repeatedly reactive hepatitis B surface antigen levels among first-time and repeat donors were used to assess prevalence and risk factors using multivariable logistic regression. Results revealed that a total of 3665 donations were collected at the Gabonese National Blood Transfusion Center, of which 100 were con?rmed HBV positive. The seroprevalence of HBsAg among total blood donors was 5.5% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 4.4 - 6.7) indicating a moderate burden. In our multivariate analysis controlling for age, HBsAg positivity was associated with first-time donor status (aOR = 6.5) and residence outside of Libreville (aOR = 1). The prevalence of HBsAg among Gabonese blood donors is at a moderate-level endemicity among first-time donors, indicating the need to further limit the burden. In this Gabonese context, status of first-time blood donor and living in rural settings are primary risk factors of HBV-infection, and henceforth considered as exclusionary criteria for blood donation in Gabon.
Key words: Hepatitis B, prevalence, risk factors, blood donor
Ab, antibody; Ag, Antigen; AOR, Adjusted Odds Ratio; ELISA, Enzyme Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay; HBsAg, Hepatitis B surface antigen; HBV, Hepatitis B virus; HCV, Hepatitis C virus; LBP, Labile blood product; NREC, National Research Ethics Committee; NBTC, National Blood Transfusion Center; OR, Odds Ratio; SSA, Sub-Saharan African; TTI, Transfusion Transmitted Infections.
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