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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


GUTIERREZ, Cristina; LEON, Graciela; LIPRANDI, Ferdinando  and  PUJOL, Flor H.. Low impact of silent hepatitis B virus infection in posttransfusion hepatitis in Venezuela. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2001, vol.10, n.6, pp.382-387. ISSN 1680-5348.

Objective. Silent infection by hepatitis B virus (HBV) occurs in the absence of serological markers for the virus. This type of occult infection is generally chronic, asymptomatic, and associated with low levels of viral replication. This study determined the presence of HBV DNA in the sera of blood donors who were negative for serological markers that were tested during screening, with the goal of evaluating the impact of silent HBV infection in posttransfusion hepatitis B in Venezuela. Methods. A total of 2 075 sera were tested in 53 serum pools of 25-50 donations (0.5-1.0 mL from each sample). The pools were subjected to ultracentrifugation prior to DNA extraction by the proteinase K, phenol/chloroform method. Results. No HBV DNA was found in any of the pools by nested polymerase chain reaction, using primers for highly conserved regions of the genes that code for the surface antigen and for the viral capsid. Aminotransferase levels were normal in 98% of 200 sera that were tested. Conclusions. These results suggest that there is a low risk of acquiring posttransfusion hepatitis B in Venezuela.

Keywords : Hepatitis B; hemotransfusión; bancos de sangre; Venezuela.

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