Hepatitis B virus infection in the Democratic Republic of Congo: a systematic review of prevalence studies (2000–2016)



The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a country with a high endemicity of hepatitis B virus (HBV) even if no national survey of prevalence has been performed. Data are based on extrapolations or limited studies. This review aimed to summarize all information about HBV infection in DRC during the period 2000–2016 to provide refined estimates and contribute to a better knowledge of its epidemiology.

Subject and methods

We conducted a systematic search in electronic databases of all prevalence studies published between January 1st, 2000 and September 30th, 2016. Additional data from manual search or gray literature were also considered. We included only moderate or high quality studies using the JBI’ tools for qualitative evaluation of researches. HBsAg prevalence was estimated at 95% confidence interval (CI) as result of simple pooling analysis.


Twenty-eight studies were included with data providing from 154,926 subjects: in the majority of these studies (18 out of 28), results were obtained from blood donors. The estimated HBsAg prevalence was 4.9% (95% CI 4.2–5.0). The prevalence was estimated at 5.0% (95% CI 4.9–5.1) in blood donors and at 5.0% (95% CI 3.0–5.9) in pregnant women.


This review suggests that DRC is a country characterized by an intermediate level of HBV infection endemicity rate. It remains however an important public health problem and efforts should continue in prevention and in policy to control this viral disease.

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The authors are grateful to Professor Béatrice Perrenoud for critical reading.

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Correspondence to Tony Akilimali Shindano.

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Shindano, T.A., Kabinda, J.M., Mitashi, P. et al. Hepatitis B virus infection in the Democratic Republic of Congo: a systematic review of prevalence studies (2000–2016). J Public Health (Berl.) 26, 595–603 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10389-018-0894-8

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  • Hepatitis B virus
  • Prevalence
  • DRC
  • Review