The prevalence of hepatitis B virus markers among students of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Bacteriology and Virology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz; Department of Virology, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Institute for Cancer Research, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

3 Department of Bacteriology and Virology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

4 Department of Parasitology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

5 Department of Bacteriology and Virology, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences; Department of Gastroenterohepatology Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran


Background: Protection against hepatitis B virus (HBV) is based on the presence of antibodies against hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). Vaccination of newborns is the most effective means of prevention. This study aimed to evaluate the frequency of anti-HBs antibody (anti-HBsAb), anti-HB core Ab (anti-HBcAb), HBsAg, and HBV DNA among university students in Fars province, Southern Iran. Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 272 students of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, were enrolled. Venous blood (5 mL) was collected from each participant and centrifuged; the sera were stored at −20°C until use. Anti-HBsAb, Anti-HBcAb, and HBsAg were measured using a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit. HBV DNA load was also measured by a real-time polymerase chain reaction. Results: The mean age of the participants was 19 ± 1 years. There were 171 (62.9%) females and 101 (37.1%) males. Anti-HBsAb at a protective level (>10 mIU/mL) were detected in the sera of 104 (38.5%) of the cases. Of the anti-HBsAb seropositive participants, 82 were female and 22 were male; the difference between the gender and seropositivity to anti-HBsAb was statistically significant (P = 0.001, odds ratio: 3.3, 95% confidence interval = 1.89–5.79). Anti-HBcAb was detected in only one participant that was negative for both HBsAg and HBV DNA. Conclusion: Findings of the current study show that more than half of the students do not have a protective level of anti-HBsAb and might be susceptible to HBV infection, indicating the necessity of checking the level of anti-HBsAb as well as a booster dose in high-risk groups.


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