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On-line version ISSN 1678-8060
Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz vol.89 no.4 Rio de Janeiro Oct./Dec. 1994
Hepatitis B and C prevalences among blood donors in the south region of Brazil
Centro de Hematologia e Hemoterapia de Santa Catarina-HEMOSC, Setor de Sorologia, Florianópolis, Brasil
Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Departamento de Virologia, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Innogenetics N. V, Gent, Belgium
The prevalence of hepatitis B and C infection has been determined in a seroepidemiological survey among blood donors from the south of Brazil (Florianópolis, State of Santa Catarina). These markers has also been correlated with the levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), a surrogate marker to prevent post-transfusion hepatitis. Sera from 5000 donors were randomly collected in the period of April to November 1991. The prevalences of HBsAg, anti-HBs and anti-HBc were respectively 0.78, 7.02 and 13.98. The anti-HCV prevalence after confirmation testing with line immunoassay (LIA), was 1.14. Normal values of ALT ( < = 32 U/ml) were found in 59.78, values slightly above the mean (ALT between 32-70 U/ml) in 37.74 and high values of ALT ( > = 70 U/ml) in 2.48. The positivity of anti-HCV antibodies increased with the elevation of ALT levels. This correlation was not observed in relation to HBsAg. There exists a diversity in the recognition of HCV epitopes among HCV positive donors. Via the confirmation test used, we could observe that 94.7 of donors recognize the structural core antigen. Besides that, we observed that 5.26 of the HCV reactive sera recognized only epitopes located in the NS4 and/or NS5 region, indicating the importance of these epitopes for the improvement of assays.