Analyses of blood donor samples from eight provinces in Lao PDR suggest considerable variation concerning HBV exposure and carriage

Phonethipsavanh Nouanthong, Lisa Hefele, Jerapha Keokhamphue, Vonhphet Sorrasin, Vilaysone Khounvisith, Chanthala Souksakhone, Prapan Jutavijittum, Claude P. Muller, Antony P. Black, Judith M. Hübschen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Introduction Hepatitis B is endemic in Lao PDR and about 9% of the adult population is chronically infected. In this study, we investigated regional, occupational, age and sex-related differences in hepatitis B epidemiology in Lao blood donors. Methods 5017 voluntary blood donors from 8 different provinces were tested for hepatitis B markers by ELISA. Predictors for the prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and antibodies against the core antigen (anti-HBc) were assessed by bivariate and multivariable analyses. Results In total, 41% of the participants were positive for anti-HBc; the HBsAg prevalence was estimated at 6.9% among all participants (9.2% among first-time donors and 3.9% among repeat donors). Among first-time donors, HBsAg positivity was associated independently with being male (p<0.001), being from the North (p<0.001) and being soldier (p<0.001). Participants were more likely to be anti-HBc positive when they were male (p<0.001), from the Northern provinces (p<0.001) and older than 20 years (p<0.01). Conclusion In conclusion, our study confirmed an overall high HBsAg and anti-HBc prevalence in Lao PDR, albeit with considerable regional variation. The identification of a sizeable number of HBsAg positives among repeat donors warrants a thorough investigation of current blood screening, record keeping, donor identification and counselling practises.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0259814
Pages (from-to)e0259814
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume16
Issue number12 December
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

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