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Prevalence of hepatitis B viral infection in Punjab province of Pakistan
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Hepatitis B viral (HBV) infection is a major health problem globally and more prevalent in Pakistan, and HBV. which is the main etiological agent of chronic hepatitis B, hepatocellular carcinoma and liver cirrhosis. A total of 659 HBsAg ELISA positive patients out of 16825 patients during July to October, 2013 were screened for HBV by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Out of 659, 522 (79.21%) were found positive for HBV, of which 318 (over all 4.4%) were male, while 341 (over all 3.55%) were female. The HBV PCR positivity rate was 80.18% (n=255) in males and 78.30% (n=267) in females patients. Among different age groups HBV PCR positivity was highest (n=181, 83.41%) in the age group of 31 to 40 years. HBV genome was detected in 79.21% of HBsAg positive samples, showing that HBsAg on ELISA is much more sensitive than PCR as HBV shows chronic conditions and both of the tests are needed against HBV.