Magnitude of the problem
The prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among the general population in India is 4% and 0 – 1.7%, respectively. The prevalence of these infections are much higher among people with Hemophilia with HBV infection occurring in 5-10% and HCV infection in 30-35% of multiply transfused patients. These infections therefore contribute to significant morbidity and mortality among them
Diagnosis of infection
A battery of serologic and molecular tests are available to diagnose HBV and HCV infection. These tests are expensive and should be chosen depending on the clinical indication.
Screening tests for HBV and HCV infection are HBV antigen (Ag.) and HCV antibody, respectively.
IgM core antibody: Indicates acute HBV infection.
AntiHBV antibody: Protective antibody against HBV infection.
HBV DNA PCR } Indicates replicative HBV infection.
HCV RNA PCR: Indicate viremic status.
The last 3 markers mentioned above are done, when antiviral treatment is being considered. (Please see section on antiviral treatment.)