1Amina El-Sayed Hussein, 1Samia El-Sharkawy, 2Nadia Sadek and 3Eglal El-Sherbini
Departments of 1Immunology, 2Haematology, and 3Microbiology, Medical Research Institute, Alexandria University.
The present study focuses on the evaluation of b2-microglobulin and cryoglobulins in the hepatitis B and C virus infected blood donors. One hundred and fifty blood donors were subjected to routine investigation, detection of hepatitis B virus markers (HBc-antibodies and HBsAg), and detection of antibodies against hepatitis C virus. Serum creatinine, b2-microglobulin and cryoglobulins were determined in the positive hepatitis B and C cases. Anti-HCV was detected in 25, and anti-HBc in 61, while only 5 cases were HBsAg positive. Cryoglobulins were demonstrated in 11 cases. A significant association was found between cryoglobulinemia and age (p = 0.02). While all cryoglobulins positive cases were anti-HBc positive, 10 were anti-HCV positive and only two were HBsAg positive. Four (36.4%) out of the cryoglobulinemic positive cases had type II mixed cryoglobulinemia, where the polyclonal component was IgG k and l in three (75.0%) cases and IgA k in one case. Among the seven cases with type III mixed cryoglobulinemia, three (42.9%) were IgG k and l light chains, one (14.3%) was IgG, IgM, k and l chains and three were IgG, IgA, IgM and k, l light chains. Serum creatinine concentrations were slightly elevated (1.13 mg/dL) in those with cryoglobulinemia than healthy donors (0.79 mg/dL). Serum. b2-microglobulin levels were significantly elevated in the 11 cryoglobulinemic positive cases (p < 0.001). It is concluded that, hepatitis virus infection may be a major cause of mixed cryoglobulinemia and that serum b2-microglobulin may be useful as a prognostic indicator in viral hepatitis infection among blood donors.