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The serological status of hepatitis viruses and other infectious diseases in the 66 dialysed patients of one haemodialysis unit in Kosovo were studied, comparing the data with a large group of blood donors and out-patients. All dialysed patients were hepatitis A virus (HAV) positive. Prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), hepatitis B surface antibodies (anti-HBs), and hepatitis B core antibodies (anti-HBc) was 14 of 66, 21% (95% confidence interval (CI): 12-33%), 5 of 66, 8% (95%CI: 5-22%), and 50 of 66, 76% (95%CI: 64-85%), respectively. Antibodies to hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV) prevalence was 57 of 66, 86% (95%CI: 76-94%). No human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive case was found. Prevalence of past herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection was 29% (95%CI: 18-41%). Two patients (3%, 95%CI: 0-10%) were positive for Treponema pallidum and 18% (95%CI: 10-30%) were human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) antibody positive. Four hundred and fifty-two subjects were recruited for comparison. Markers of past HAV infection was associated with haemodialysis (Fisher's exact test p-value=0.037). Dialysed patients were at a higher risk of being HBsAg positive than others: the sex- and age-adjusted odds ratio (OR) was 5.18 (95%CI: 1.87-14.32). Anti-HBc positivity was strongly associated with haemodialysis: the sex- and age-adjusted OR was 6.43 (95%CI: 3.22-12-85). Anti-HCV positivity was 86% and 1% in presence and absence of haemodialysis, respectively. The Fisher's exact test for association proved a strong association between haemodialysis and HCV (p-value<0.0001). The OR for association between haemodialysis and HSV-2 positivity was 3.20 (95%CI: 1.46-7.00). Significant associations were also observed between haemodialysis status and antibodies to Treponema pallidum (Fisher's exact test p-value=0.044). In Kosovo, the prevalence of viral hepatitis infection and other viral infections and Treponema pallidum among dialysed patients is high, indicating major ongoing nosocomial transmission. .


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