This study was carried out to detect occult hepatitis B virus (OHB) among haemodylsis patient in Khartoum State, Sudan. Antigen capture enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), competitive ELISA to detect Hepatitis B core antibody (HBcAb) antibodies and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA were used to analyze 100 plasma samples collected from patients in 3 hospitals (El Amel Hospital, Bashair Hospital and Salma Hospital) during the period of 2012 to 2014. Out of the patient sampled, 65 were males and 35 were females (age 18 to 70 years) none of these patients showed signs of clinical hepatitis. The results showed that 9 out of the 100 samples were positive for HBsAg, and were subsequently excluded from the study. Out of the remaining HBsAg negative 91 samples, 38(51.6%) showed positive HBc antibodies and 3 (3.3%) tested positive to HBV DNA using competitive ELISA and PCR, respectively. These results indicated that molecular detection of occult HBV infections in haemodialysis patients in Sudan is of fundamental importance to prevent HBV transmission through contamination of heamodialysis machines.
Key words: Hepatitis B virus (HBV), hemodialysis, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), Sudan.
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