CONTEXT: Blood transfusion is one of the major risk factors for the transmission of the hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) viruses. However, there are no reports describing the endoscopic transmission of these viruses in patients with the hepatosplenic form of schistosomiasis. OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence of serological markers of HBV and HCV in patients with the hepatosplenic form of schistosomiasis and evaluate the possible risk factors associated with these infections. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 230 patients with hepatosplenic form of schistosomiasis who attended a university hospital in Recife, Northeastern Brazil, from February to August 2008. The patients answered a standardized questionnaire about risk factors. Serum samples were analyzed for anti-HBc total, anti-HBs, HBsAg, and anti-HCV using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Univariate analysis and multiple logistic regression were performed. RESULTS: The prevalence was 30% for anti-HBc total and/or HBsAg and 7.4% for anti-HCV. There was a higher frequency of the serological markers in females and in patients aged .50 years. A significant association was detected between the presence of anti-HCV and the receipt of six or more blood transfusions. There was no association of history and number of digestive endoscopies with the serological markers analyzed. CONCLUSIONS: We observed a higher prevalence of serological markers for HBV and a lower prevalence of anti-HCV. Our results indicate that females and patients of an advanced age are the most affected categories and that patients that received multiple transfusions are at a higher probability of HCV infection.
Biological markers; Hepatitis B.; Hepatitis C; Schistosomiasis mansoni