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This article is the author's final published version in Journal of Virus Eradication, December 2023, Volume 9, Issue 4, Article number 100358.

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Copyright © 2023 The Author(s)


Within the United States (US), 2.4 million individuals are living with chronic hepatitis B, but less than 20% are diagnosed. Isolated anti-hepatitis B core (iAHBc) antibodies indicate serology in an individual that is positive for anti-HBc antibodies, while negative for surface antigen (HBsAg) and surface antibodies (anti-HBs). A result of iAHBc could indicate a chronic occult bloodstream infection, necessitating further testing. This study assesses the prevalence and risk factors associated with anti-HBc and iAHBc within community high-risk screening in Greater Philadelphia. Participants (n = 177) were screened for HBsAg, anti-HBs, and anti-HBc during community screening events in 2022. Chi-square tables and Firth logistic regression were used to describe the data and to assess the odds of iAHBc. The findings indicate that there was an iAHBc prevalence of 7.3% (n = 13) within our study. The odds of anti-HBc were increased for immigrants from the Western Pacific (4.5%) and Africa (11.9%). Individuals born in Africa had 7.93 greater odds for iAHBc than those born in the Americas, and these odds are multiplied by 1.01 for every 1-year increase in age. Our data show a high burden of iAHBc within high-risk and often hard-to-reach communities. Triple panel screening should be incorporated into all HBV screening programs, in accordance with current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) universal screening recommendations, to ensure a comprehensive picture of the disease burden and reduce the risk of missing people with occult hepatitis B and those at risk for viral reactivation or liver complications.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.





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