To determine the prevalences of hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human T lymphotropic virus type-1 (HTLV-1) infections in residents of the Solomon Islands, we surveyed 1,610 serum samples from 1,113 outpatients and 497 healthy volunteer blood donors at the Central Hospital in Honiara, the Solomon Islands. The prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) by radioimmunoassay (RIA) (n = 315, 19.6%) was significantly different from that of antibody to HCV (anti-HCV) by a second-generation enzyme immunoassay (EIA) (n = 4, 0.2%) and antibody to HTLV-1 (anti-HTLV-1) by an ELISA with Western blot analysis to verify the positivity (n = 49, 3.0%) (P < 0.0001, respectively). There were no significant differences in the prevalences of these markers between outpatients and blood donors. Hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) was detected by RIA in 130 (41.3%) of 315 HBsAg-positive samples. The distribution of HBsAg subtypes by EIA was 190 adr (60.3%), 111 ayw (35.2%), and 14 (0.4%) other subtypes. The HBeAg prevalence decreased with age in all groups for each subtype. There were no significant differences in the prevalence of HBeAg among HBsAg subtypes. We conclude that HBV infection is highly endemic in selected Solomon Islands populations, and that the high prevalence of HBeAg may be associated with the spread of HBV infection there.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases