Co–infection of hepatitis B and C viruses among human immunodeficiency virus infected children in Lagos, Nigeria

O.B. Salu, A.O.B. Oyefolu, A Gbadegesin, A.B. James, B.O. Oke, O.S. Ashaka, A.A. Anjorin, K.O. Akinyemi, S.A. Omilabu



Introduction: The co–infection of Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Hepatitis B and C viruses remains a public health problem particularly in resource limited setting like Nigeria. Studies on these co–infections have been done principally among adult and pregnant women with limited information on the pediatric population. The study aims at documenting the burden and the patterns of HIV/HBV, HIV/HCV and HIV/HBV/HCV co–infections in children in Lagos, Nigeria.

Methods: A cross–sectional study carried out at the Virology Research Laboratory, College of Medicine of the University of Lagos between December 2008 and January 2014. A total of 393 confirmed HIV infected children aged between <1 to 15 years were screened from two tertiary health facilities; Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH, n=272) and Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH, n=121), Lagos. Plasma samples were screened for markers for HBV (HBsAg, HBeAg, HBeAb, HBcIgM) and HCV (anti–HCV) using a fourth generation enzyme–linked immunosorbent assay (DIA. PRO. Diagnostic Bioprobes Srl., Italy).

Results: Out of the 393 samples analyzed, 40 (10.2%) were sero–positive for dual HIV/HBV co–infection, comprising 21 (52.5%) females and 19 (47.5%) males, while 15 (3.8%) had detectable antibodies to HCV consisting of 7 (46.7%) females and 8 (53.3%) males without any statistical significance. On the overall, two (0.5%) of the participants were seropositive for triple HIV, HBV and HCV co–infections. HIV/HBV co–infection was detected among all the age groups, whereas, HIV/HCV co–infection was not seen among children <1 to 5 years.

Conclusion: This analysis confirmed a high prevalence of HBV, low prevalence of HCV and suggests that chronic hepatitis may be prevalent among our HIV–infected children. Thus, routine screening and early detections are therefore necessary for an appropriate treatment plan for children co–infected with HIV/HBV and or with HCV.

Keywords: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Hepatitis B virus (HBV), Hepatitis C virus (HCV), Co–infection and Enzyme–Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA)

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Co–infection of hepatitis B and C viruses among human immunodeficiency virus infected children in Lagos, Nigeria