Epidemiology of hepatitis B virus infection among Pregnant Women in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo: Prevalence, risk factors, and Genotype Distribution

Document Type : Original Clinical


1 Faculty of Pharmaceuticals Sciences, University of Lubumbashi

2 Faculty of Medecine, University of Lubumbashi

3 Catholic University of Louvain, Microbiology Laboratory


Mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B virus is a major worldwide public health concern. This study aimed to determine the seroprevalence and identify the risk factors of carrying hepatitis B surface Antigen in pregnant women. Furthermore to determine the biochemical modifications and study the distribution of hepatitis B Virus genotypes among pregnant women living with hepatitis B Virus in Lubumbashi.

Detection of HBsAg was carried out by rapid diagnostic test. Biochemical analysis was performed using spectrophotometric method.

The qPCR was performed on the LightCycler® 96 analyzer. The sequencing reaction on amplicons from the overlap region of the P and S genes was carried out on the Veriti™ Thermal Cycler. The hepatitis B Virus Desoxyribonucleic Acid sequencing was achieved on an ABI PRISM 3500 analyzer.

The seroprevalence of HBV among pregnant women was 4.4%. Blood transfusion and unprotected sex have been significantly associated with the risk of carrying HBsAg. Increased level of bilirubin and transaminases were observed. The genotypes E (59.4%), A (40.6%) and some drug resistance mutations were identified in the study population.

With an HBV seroprevalence of 4.4%, Mother to child transmission of HBV remains a public health concern in Lubumbashi. Therefore, efforts aiming at reducing HBV infection among pregnant women and children should be strongly encouraged. Data obtained from hepatitis B Virus genotyping and the resistance mutations should help health authorities as a tool towards the adoption of treatment options including vaccination strategies and the development of a mapping of HBV genotypes in the Democratic Republic of Congo.


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