Moza Basho¹, Elona Kureta¹, Shpëtim Qyra¹, Jovan Basho2
1Institute of Public Health, Tirana, Albania;
2University Hospital Center “Mother Teresa”, Tirana, Albania.
Aim of the study: Roma population is vulnerable to viral hepatitis and serological screening is a very important issue. The aim of this study was to acquire serologic data for different markers of viral hepatitis B, C and D in Roma population of Tirana.
Methods: This was a retrospectivestudy. Samples sera were collected during April-July 2014 and September-October 2015. A total of 273 healthy adults of Roma population were included in the study. The sera were examined in the Laboratory of Immunology, Institute of Public Health in Tirana. Immunochromatographic, rapid test was used to screen the sera for HBV (HBsAg) and for HCV (anti-HCV). Positive cases were tested immune enzymatically by ELISA. ELISA was also used to quantify different markers of viral hepatitis: anti-HBc IgM, HBeAg, anti-HBe and anti-HDV.
Results: HBsAg was positive in 9.8% (27/273) and anti-HCV was positive in 1.1% (3/272) of the cases. In HBV positive participants, 15 were females and 12 were males, while in positive HCV positive cases, 2 were male and 1 was female. 26 samples of HBsAg positive sera were tested for anti-HBc-IgM and 2 (7.6%) of them were positive.
8% (2/25) of HBsAg positive sera were HBeAg positive and 96% (24/25) of them were anti-HBeAg positive. Viral hepatitis D (anti-HDV) was positive in 8% (2/25) of HBsAg positive sera.
Conclusions: Viral hepatitis B remains to be very common in Roma population.
Prevalence of viral hepatitis C in Roma population is comparable to the prevalence of general population.
There is a need to increase the awareness related to transmission, vaccination and health behavior in Roma population.
Keyword: Roma population, vaccination, Viral hepatitis.