Prevalence and Factors Associated with Hepatitis B Surface Antigen Positivity among Women Receiving Antenatal Care at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital

Health and Wellbeing

  • March 2020
  • Journal Articles

The WHO estimates the prevalence of hepatitis infection at 2 billion globally with 350 million patients developing chronic infection . It is the 10th leading cause of death worldwide and approximately 686,000 deaths per year are caused by chronic hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma.

Viral hepatitis type B is a common and immensely serious disease caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV), a partially double stranded DNA virus of the Hepadnaviridae family. Chronic hepatitis B virus infection results in liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.

HBV has the rare ability among infectious agents to circulate in the blood of the virus carriers at a very high titer. Furthermore, the blood of the carriers contains a very large excess of the viral surface antigen (HBsAg) and a secreted form of the viral core protein which is called e-antigen (HBeAg).