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Hepatitis B Virus Chronic Infection in Blood Donors from Asian and African High or Medium Prevalence Areas: Comparison According to Sex.

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Allain, Jean-Pierre 
Owusu-Ofori, Shirley 
Ye, Xianlin 


Immune control of various infectious diseases, particularly viral, was shown to be more efficient for females than males. Response to viral vaccines (HAV, HBV) was higher in females. Data on hepatitis B virus (HBV) markers accumulated over 15 years in blood donors was stratified according to sex, including HBsAg, HBV viral load and levels of anti-HBs in areas where genotypes B and C (China), genotype D (Iran, Lebanon, Tunisia) and genotype E (Ghana, Burkina Faso, Gabon) were prevalent. HBsAg was screened by either ELISA or rapid tests, anti-HBc and anti-HBs by ELISA, HBV DNA load by a standardized method across sites. In Ghanaian children less than 5 years, HBV DNA load was significantly lower in females than in males (p = 0.035). In China, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Gabon blood donors, median HBsAg prevalence was ~5% and 3% in China, ~8.5% and 4.5% in Gabon, ~16% and 11% in Burkina Faso and ~11% and 7% in Ghana for male and female donors, respectively (p < 0.001). In HBsAg+ Ghanaian blood donors, distribution and median viral load were not significantly different between sexes; occult hepatitis B infections (OBI) were significantly more frequent in males. In Chinese blood donor anti-HBc+ and anti-HBs+, anti-HBs levels tended to be higher in males but vaccinated donors’ anti-HBs+ only, while anti-HBs levels were females > males. In areas where genotypes B-E are dominant, the prevalence of chronic HBV infection (HBsAg+) seems better controlled before age 16−18 by females infected vertically or horizontally. OBIs appear considerably more frequent in men, suggesting lower efficacy of HBV infection control. Female blood donors appear significantly safer from HBV than males, and their donation should be encouraged.



HBV, HBsAg, anti-HBs, blood donors, viral load, Adolescent, Blood Donors, Child, DNA, Viral, Female, Ghana, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis B Antibodies, Hepatitis B Core Antigens, Hepatitis B Surface Antigens, Hepatitis B virus, Hepatitis B, Chronic, Humans, Male, Persistent Infection, Prevalence

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