The Prevalence of HBV Infection in Renal Transplant Recipients and the Impact of Infection on Graft Survival
Hepatitis B virus infection (HBV) is a leading cause of increased mortality and morbidity in renal transplant subjects. The purpose of this project was to investigate the prevalence of HBV in patients with renal transplant and compare it with the general population in Duhok city, Iraq. Then, the impact of HBV infection on graft function was evaluated. A total of 560 renal transplant subjects and 2975 volunteers were recruited in this study. All subjects were examined for HB surface antigen (HBsAg) positivity. Then, all HBsAg positive subjects were tested for viral load, alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), serum creatinine and HBV profile. All HBsAg positive renal transplant subjects received treatment and were followed up for 24 months. It was found that 6/560 (1.1%) of the renal transplant subjects were HBsAg positive while 30/2975 (1.09%) of the volunteers were positive for HBsAg (P>0.05). After initiation of medications, viral load became undetected within 6 months of treatment. Serum creatinine levels were normal at the end of the study. No major side effects were recorded. The prevalence of HBV in renal transplant subjects was similar to the prevalence in general population. HBV infection did not show any negative effect on the graft function. Further study is needed with a larger sample size to explore the long term effect of the infection on graft functionality.
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