What is the prevalence of transfusion-transmitted HBV infection?

Updated: Jan 15, 2017
  • Author: Mudassar Zia, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

The hepatitis B virus (HBV), a member of the Hepadnaviridae family, is capable of withstanding extreme temperatures and humidity. The viral genome consists of partially double-stranded, circular deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) containing 3.2 kilobase (kb) pairs that encodes 4 overlapping, open reading frames.

Hepatitis B is a worldwide healthcare problem, especially in developing areas. An estimated one third of the global population has been infected with HBV. Approximately 300 million people are lifelong carriers, although annually, only 2% spontaneously seroconvert. In the United States, 300,000 cases of acute HBV disease are reported annually to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). [24]

HBV is transmitted hematogenously and sexually. The outcome of this infection results from a complicated viral-host interaction that produces an acute symptomatic disease, an asymptomatic disease, or a chronic carrier state. Later consequences include cirrhosis and the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Note:  The residual risk of transmission of HBV is estimated to be close to 270,000 units in the United States and 1 in 70,000 to 1,000,000 units in various parts of Europe. [25]


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