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Research Articles

Transmission of hepatitis B virus infection among family contacts of chronic hepatitis B carriers in Sri Lanka

Authors:

M.A.R.V. Muthugala,

Department of Virology, Medical Research Institute, Colombo 08, LK
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G.C.S. Galagoda

Medical Research Institute, Colombo 08, LK
About G.C.S.
Consultant Virologist, Department of Virology, Medical Research Institute, Colombo 08, Sri Lanka.
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Abstract

Introduction Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major global health problem. Incidence of HBV infection in Sri Lanka is low compared to other countries in South Asia. Horizontal transmission among close contacts is a well recognized mode of HBV transmission. A high incidence of HBV infection has been reported among family contacts of chronic HBV carriers from different parts of the world. A study was therefore designed to describe HBV serology markers among family contacts of HBV chronic carriers who were diagnosed and followed up at the Department of Virology, MRI.

Methods Serological markers of HBV infection was analyzed in 230 family contacts of 78 chronic HBV carriers diagnosed and followed up at the Department of Virology, Medical Research Institute, Sri Lanka from November 2008 to December 2012.

Results Among screened family members, 55 (23.9%) were positive for HB core total antibody, indicating evidence of exposure to HBV at the time of screening. Among them 14 (6.1%) were positive for HBs antigen and serological evidence of past exposure to HBV was found in 41 (17.8 %). At least one member of the family was affected in 40 (51.3%) index cases. HBV infection rate among family members (23.9%) was significant compared to the general population (1.8%) in this study. Screening of family members and vaccination of non immune members should be encouraged to prevent spreading of the infection. Health education and counseling should be given to HBV infected patients and their contacts about the disease, mode of transmission and available preventive measures.

How to Cite: Muthugala, M.A.R.V. & Galagoda, G.C.S., (2015). Transmission of hepatitis B virus infection among family contacts of chronic hepatitis B carriers in Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan Journal of Infectious Diseases. 5(2), pp.58–63. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljid.v5i2.8092
Published on 29 Oct 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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