Evidence of occult hepatitis B virus infection among Omani blood donors: a preliminary study

Med Princ Pract. 2006;15(5):368-72. doi: 10.1159/000094271.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), hepatitis B core antibodies (anti-HBc) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA among a selected group of Omani blood donors.

Materials and methods: Two hundred HBsAg-negative donors were screened for anti-HBc. Those found to be positive were investigated for HBV DNA by polymerase chain reaction. HBsAg was retested on these sera following an immune complex dissociation technique.

Results: HBsAg was present in 2.8% of the donors. Forty-one out of 200 (20.5%) HBsAg-negative donors were positive for anti-HBc. Eleven were positive for HBsAg after dissociation, whereas 8 gave readings just over the cutoff. HBV DNA was not detected in this group.

Conclusion: Findings indicate that testing donors for HBsAg alone is not sufficient to eliminate HBV from the blood supply in Oman.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Donors*
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • Hepatitis B / blood
  • Hepatitis B / epidemiology*
  • Hepatitis B Antibodies / analysis
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens / analysis
  • Humans
  • Oman / epidemiology
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Prevalence


  • DNA, Viral
  • Hepatitis B Antibodies
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens