Investigation of Hepatitis B and C virus Co-Infection in Pregnancy at a Tertiary Hospital, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria

A fair proportion of liver diseases worldwide are caused by hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections. Co-infection of both viruses is not rare since identical modes of transmission are shared by the two viruses. The aim is to establish the coinfection of the Hepatitis B and C viruses in pregnancy, their seroprevalence and clinical-epidemiological correlates. This is a cross sectional descriptive analysis. After pre-test counselling and obtaining consent from them, two hundred and twenty (220) consecutive healthy pregnant women attending the hospital antenatal booking clinic who met the inclusion requirements were recruited into this research. This has been tested with commercially available in vitro diagnostic kits (one stage test strips) for both HBsAg and anti-HCV antibodies. Data was gathered via a questionnaire. SPSS (statistical package for social sciences) 22 statistical package (SPSS Inc., Illinois, U.S.A) was used for data entry and analysis. P value less than 0.05 was taken as important. The mean age was 28.8 years ± 5.2 for the pregnant women surveyed, while the mean parity was 1.20 ± 1.16. Of the 220 pregnant women recruited, 4.6% (n=10) were seropositive for surface hepatitis B antigen (HBsAg), while 2.7% (n=6) were seropositive for viral hepatitis C (anti-HCV) antibodies. There was 0% co-infection with hepatitis B and C viruses during pregnancy. The major risk factors for HBsAg seropositivity (p<0.05) were multiple sexual partners and female circumcision. None of the risk factors were significantly associated with the seropositivity of hepatitis C viral antibodies. The rate of co-infection of hepatitis B and C viruses in pregnancy in our obstetrics population is infinitesimal. However, regular screening for infection with the Hepatitis B virus and support for active and passive immunisation of seropositive pregnant women’s infants is recommended.

Author(s) Details

Dr. E. L. Kotingo
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.

Dr. D. O. Allagoa
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Federal Medical Centre, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.

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