alexa An evidence of high prevalence of Hepatitis C virus in Faisalabad, Pakistan.



Author(s): Ahmad N, Asgher M, Shafique M, Qureshi JA

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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To see the prevalence of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and its genotypes in general population of the locality and to evaluate the importance of reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test over HCV antibody test in early diagnosis of HCV infection. METHODS: The study took place at the National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (NIBGE) and we collected the samples from HCV screening camps organized by Allah Rakhi Trust Hospital Faisalabad and from blood donors visiting to Allied Hospital Faisalabad. Blood samples from 300 subjects (77\% males and 23\% females) with a mean average age of 32 +/- 20 years were randomly collected, and analyzed after separating the plasma by serological testing as well as molecular methods during the period from January 2004 to December 2004. Genotyping of HCV positive samples were performed by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of the PCR products. RESULTS: The results indicated that 48 (16\%) cases were positive for anti-HCV antibody and 14 (4.7\%) were on the borderline. Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level indicated a wide range of activity from 5.0 U/L to 128 U/L. On the average, 79.4 U/L activity was found. By nested PCR, 84 (28\%) samples were positive for HCV-RNA. The results of genotyping have indicated that 8 (9.5\%) samples were of genotype-1 while only 2 (2.4\%) samples were of HCV genotype-2. Hepatitis C virus genotype-3 was found to be major prevalent genotype as it was present in 68 (81\%) samples. Six (7.1\%) samples could not be identified by this method thus remained un-typed. CONCLUSION: Hepatitis C virus-RNA detection by molecular method was found to be more sensitive for early diagnosis of HCV infection and relatively higher incidence of HCV infection with genotype-3 was found in general population of the area.
This article was published in Saudi Med J and referenced in Dentistry

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