Background: The risk of infection with transfusion-transmitted viruses, such as Hepatitis B virus (HBV), has been reduced markedly. However, a zero-risk blood supply remains a popular goal. Anti-hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc) is considered to be an effective marker for occult HBV infection, and it has served a significant role in improving blood safety. The purpose of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of anti-HBc antibodies among blood donors.

Methods: During a period of six months in 2012, 1000 blood donors in Bandar Abbas were investigated for the presence of HBV infection markers. We used ELISA for the detection of HBsAg and chemiluminescence for the detection of HBsAb and anti-HBc antibodies.

Results: The prevalence of positive anti-HBc among the 1000 donors was 8.3%. Almost 2.3% of the donors were reactive for anti-HBc and negative for HBsAg.

Conclusions: The study showed that more than 2% of healthy blood donors in Bandar Abbas already have been exposed to HBV, although their HBsAg tests were negative. We suggest screening for anti-HBc to improve the safety of the blood supply.

Key words: Anti-HBc; HBsAg; Bandar Abbas; Blood donor  
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