Hepatitis B is one of the most frequent post-transfusion infections. Occult hepatitis B infection (OBI) is a form of hepatitis B infection in which, despite the presence of HBV-DNA in the serum and hepatocytes of the carrier, HBsAg is absent. In addition to the risk of transmission through the transfusion of infected blood, reactivation of hepatitis B in OBI patients and recipients of their blood can lead to cirrhosis, hepatic cancer, and reactivation of viral replication in the carrier. Therefore, effective assays to assess and screen for OBI in blood donors are of paramount importance and require urgent attention. Recently, several investigations in various regions of Iran have reported OBI in blood donors. In response, there has been a drive to apply more specific, sensitive, and accurate methods for the detection of HBV, which should become an obligatory screening process for all blood transfusion services. In this review, we address the progression of occult hepatitis B and the common problems associated with occult hepatitis B worldwide. Finally, we reflect on the research and screening that is being performed in Iran to deal with this problem.
Implication for health policy/practice/research/medical education:
Occult HBV infection (OBI) is a potential risk factor for post transfusion hepatitis B. Based on recent reports, this review aims to present the current status of OBI prevalence among worldwide blood donors, common problems associated with OBI as well as useful tests for HBV screening.
Please cite this paper as:
Kazemi Arababadi M, Hassanshahi G, Pourfathollah AA, Rezazadeh Zarandi E, Kennedy D. Post-Transfusion Occult Hepatitis B (OBI): A Global Challenge for Blood Recipients and Health Authorities. Hepat Mon. 2011;11(9):714-8. DOI: 10.5812/kowsar. 1735143X.694
©2011 Kowsar M.P.Co. All rights reserved.
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