Erhabor O, Kwaifa IK, Bayawa AM, Isaac ZI, Dorcas I and Sani I
Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infection is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. The most important marker for HBV infection is Hepatitis B Surface Antigen (HBSAg). HBSAg rapid screening test methods are the most popular methods used in most developing countries even though the Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) and Nucleic Acid Testing methods are considered as more reliable methods worldwide. The aim of this study was to compare the analytical sensitivity of a rapid kit and ELISA method in the detection of HBV infection among blood donors. One hundred (100) blood donor samples which tested negative with Rapid screening test kit were re- tested using ELISA method. Out of 100 rapid test negative blood donor samples tested, 9 (9%) tested positive with ELISA method. Thirty blood samples which tested positive with rapid screening test kit were also re-tested using ELISA method. All 30 samples (100%) tested positive with ELISA method. This study shows that the rapid screening test kits are inferior and are associated with more false negatives compared to the ELISA technique. There is need for the Nigerian Government to develop a safe blood donor screening strategy for HBV by combining the use of the less sensitive rapid screening techniques with the more sensitive ELISA and NAT screening method to ensure the safety of blood donation in the country and to limit the risk of transfusion-transmissible hepatitis B infection.
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