Hepatitis B virus markers, hepatitis D virus antigen and hepatitis C virus antibodies in Nigerian patients with chronic liver disease
Ojo, O.S.; Thursz, M.; Thomas, H.C.; Ndububa, D.A.; Adeodu, O.O.; Rotimi, O.; Lawal, A.A.; Durosinmi, M.A.; Akonai, A.K.; Fatusi, A.O.
East African Medical Journal 72(11): 719-721
Although carrier rates for the HBsAg as well as the prevalence of HBV-associated chronic liver disease (CALD) are known to be high in Nigeria, not much is known about the role of the hepatitis C (HCV) and D (HDV) viruses. We undertook a prospective serological study of a cohort of 50 new patients and attending a Nigerian teaching hospital for various forms of histologically characterised chronic liver disease. Forty-five patients (90%) had antibodies to HBcAg (anti-HBcAb). Thirty one patients (62%) were HBsAg-positive, out of whom 15 were HbeAg-positive. Two (4%) of the HbsAg-positive patients, both suffering from liver cancer, were also hepatitis D antigen positive. Similarly, two (4%) patients were positive for anti-HCV antibodies. There were no cases of co-infection by the HBV and HCV. This study suggests that while the HBV is the major aetiological agent of chronic liver disease in Nigeria, the HDV is not an important aggravating factor save in a small number of patients. The HCV is probably not yet an important cause of chronic liver disease but this situation might change when HBV infection is controlled.