Interspousal Transmission of Hepatitis B virus: A Cross-Sectional Descriptive-Analytical Study

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Date
2017-04-30
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Brieflands
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Background and Aim: Sexual transmission is one of the routes of hepatitis B transmission. This study aimed at assessing the prevalence of hepatitis B among the spouses of patients with hepatitis B. Methods: This cross-sectional descriptive-analytical study was done on 397 spouses of chronic carriers of hepatitis B, who had referred during years 2003 to 2014 to a private clinic of infectious diseases in Birjand, Iran. Serological tests for hepatitis B surface antigen and anti-core antigen antibody were performed for all participants. Data were entered in the SPSS software (v. 19.0) and analyzed through the Chi-square and Fisher’s exact tests at a significance level of less than 0.05. Results: The prevalence of hepatitis B among participants was 8.3%. Resolved hepatitis B was observed in 40.6% of the participants. The prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen positivity and hepatitis B core antigen antibody positivity among participants whose spouses had shown hepatitis B e-antigen positivity was 15.8% and 70.2%, respectively. This rate among participants whose spouses had shown hepatitis B e-antigen negativity was 7% and 36.3%, respectively. Hepatitis B e-antigen positivity among participants’ spouses was significantly correlated with transmission of hepatitis B core antigen antibody positivity (odds ratio = 4.18; 95% confidence interval: 2.08 - 8.38; P < 0.001). Conclusions: This study suggests the high risk of hepatitis B interspousal transmission, particularly among patients with hepatitis B e-antigen positivity. Therefore, public education about hepatitis B and emergency vaccination against it are essential for spouses of infected patients, to prevent interspousal transmission.
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