PREVALENCE AND RISK FACTORS OF HEPATITIS C VIRUS INFECTION IN HAEMODIALYSIS PATIENTS: TESTING ANTIBODIES, RNA AND GENOTYPES
Keywords:Heamodialysis, HCV infection, prevalence, risk factors, genotypes
AbstractHepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is an important global public health problem affecting approximately 180 million people. Multiple risk factors are associated with HCV transmission among haemodialysis (HD) patients leading to an increased risk for liver-related mortality. Patients undergoing HD may show a decreased humoral and cellular immunity, which lowers the sensitivity of the HCV antibodies (Abs) test resulting in false negative antibody test, thus requiring HCV RNA testing. Our study is to determine the prevalence of HCV markers (antibody RNA and genotype) and risk factors of HCV infection among patients in HD unit in Baghdad. A sample of 54 patients were interviewed. HCV Abs (anti-HCV) was tested using third generation enzyme immunoassay (EIA-3) and immunoblot assay (Lia-Tek III) as screening and confirmatory test respectively. Sera of 46 patients (irrespective to anti-HCV results) were subjected to molecular analysis, using the most developed RT-PCR and DNA Enzyme immunoassay (DEIA) method. Seropositive rate of anti-HCV and HCV-RNA were (66.6%) and (60.9%) respectively. Anti-HCV seropositive rate was significantly higher in males (77.1%), and history of blood transfusion (85%). Blood transfusion acts as a significant risk for acquiring HCV (OR 44.2, 95% CI 7.6-256.9). Genotype 4 was the most prevalent (33.3%), followed by genotype 1a (25.9%) and genotype 1b (22.2%). We concluded that, the prevalence of HCV among the haemodialysis patients is high. It is significantly related to gender, duration of dialysis and number of blood transfusion. Blood transfusion acts as a significant risk factor. Molecular test for detection for HCV RNA is necessary and proper nosocomial prevention program should be implemented to prevent HCV transmission.
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