Original Article

Serological and molecular characterization of hepatitis B virus in asymptomatic blood donors in Iran


Background and Objectives: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is an enveloped DNA virus belongs to Hepadnaviridea family. HBV infection is a serious global health problem, with 2 billion people infected worldwide, and 350 million suffering from chronic HBV infection. The aim of this study was to determine the serological pattern and molecular characterization of HBV diversity in asymptomatic blood donors in Iran alongside with the mutation status of HBV in relation to blood safety.
Materials and Methods: One hundred and sixty six samples from asymptomatic blood donors who were positive for hepatitis B surface antigen during 2012 to 2014 were selected. The serological and molecular markers were analyzed by screening HBsAb, HBcAb, HBeAg and HBeAb and HBV-DNA. For detection of HBV genotypes and possible mutations, HBV polymerase and pre core/core regions were sequenced.
Results: In term of serologic markers of HBV, 100% of asymptomatic blood donors were HBsAg positive and 97.6%, 92.2%, 5.4% and 2.4% of them were HBcAb, HBeAb, HBeAg and HBsAb positive respectively in asymptomatic blood donors. The maximum of samples viral load was 4.41 × 107 IU/ml for HBeAg positive blood donors. While the minimum and maximum of viral load in HBeAb positive samples was 1.21 × 102 IU/ml and 1 × 106 IU/ml respectively and the mean of viral load in HBeAb positive samples was 5.882 × 103 IU/ml. About 9.7% of HBeAb positive samples had a pre core mutation that is related to stopping the synthesis of HBeAg and only genotype D was prevalent in asymptomatic blood donors.
Conclusion: This study showed that from 166 samples most of them were in a chronic phase of HBV infection and just 5.4% of asymptomatic blood donors were in the acute phase or acute chronic phase of HBV infection. The major risk factor for HBV infection was a familial history of HBV.

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IssueVol 10 No 1 (2018) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
Hepatitis B virus Serological markers Viral load Iran

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How to Cite
Attaran M, Hosseini SM, Fakhari J, Sharifi Z. Serological and molecular characterization of hepatitis B virus in asymptomatic blood donors in Iran. Iran J Microbiol. 2018;10(1):59-64.