Carrier rate of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) among urban pregnant women in a secondary health facility in Maiduguri, Northeastern Nigeria


A serological survey conducted among 196 pregnant women resident in and around Maiduguri, an urban town in north eastern Nigeria showed that 33 (16.8%) were asymptomatic carriers of hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg). They are within the age range of 14-40 years with mean (± SD) age of 24.7 (± 6.3). The women attend antenatal clinic at the State Specialist Hospital, a secondary health facility in Maiduguri, Borno state. The women are all heterosexuals. The distribution of HBsAg carrier rate according to age of women studied showed a significant (p = 0.0061) increase of the prevalence of HBsAg from 4 (8.7%) in the lower age group (<20 years) to 1 (50%) among those in the higher age group (>39 years). According to the number of pregnancies, the prevalence of HBsAg infection increased significantly from 6 (9.2%) among primiparous to 13 (13.7%) and 14 (38.9%) among multiparous and grand multiparous respectively. The carrier rate of HBsAg infection among the pregnant women studied based on their duration of pregnancies and their social class showed no significant differences. However, according to the factors known to be commonly associated with the highest risk of transmission of HBV such as history of blood transfusion, Tribal marks/tattooing, use of sharps, sharing of articles, history of jaundice in the women and husbands, history of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) of the women and husbands and the type of marriage (monogamous or polygamous), number of sexual relationships per week, only the history of blood transfusion was significantly associated with HBsAg carrier rate (RR = 3.71., 95% Confidence Interval (C.I.), 1.89-7.30, p = 0.0078). The study confirms that pregnant women who attend antenatal clinic in this secondary health facility are at higher risk of being infected with the HBV, which could lead to both prenatal and post natal transmission to their newborns.

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Bukbuk, D. , Samaila, M. , Ballah, A. , Kida, I. and Iwuoha, C. (2013) Carrier rate of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) among urban pregnant women in a secondary health facility in Maiduguri, Northeastern Nigeria. World Journal of Cardiovascular Diseases, 3, 512-518. doi: 10.4236/wjcd.2013.38081.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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