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Background: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major health problem and account for a substantial proportion of liver diseases worldwide.
Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence rate of Hepatitis B and C virus infection among undergraduate students of Babcock University.
Methodology: The blood samples of 200 participants (96 males and 104 females) were randomly collected and screened using rapid serological methods. HBV markers were determined using a HBV 5 in 1 Panel cassette (Innovita Biological Technology Co., Ltd., China); while antibody to HCV was detected using anti-HCV test strip (Blue Cross Bio-Medical Co., Ltd., China). The demographic and clinical information of the participants were collected using structured questionnaires.
Results: Out of the 200 participants screened, 3 (1.5%) were positive for HBsAg, 10 (5.0%) were positive for HBsAb, 3 (1.5%) were positive for HBcAb, 2 (1.0%) were positive for HBeAb and none (0%) was positive for HBeAg. 2 (2.1%) of the 96 males screened were positive for HBsAg, while only one (1%) out of the 104 females screened was positive for HBsAg. There was no significant difference (P>0.05) between the number of male and female students positive for HBsAg. On the basis of age distribution, data show that 3 (2.7%) out of the 110 students that were 16-20 years old were positive for HBsAg, while students in the other age groups were negative for HBsAg. Risk factors associated with infection include: tattooing, history of blood transfusion and shared sharp objects. Interestingly, zero prevalence rate (0%) of HCV mono-infection, as well as HBV/HCV co-infection was recorded in this current study.
Conclusion: The outcome of this study showed that a low prevalence rate of HBV mono-infection exists among undergraduate students of Babcock University, therefore the on-going public health campaign programme against Hepatitis B and C should be sustained.
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