Author(s): Shobokshi OA, Serebour FE, AlDrees AZ, Mitwalli AH, Qahtani A,
Abstract Share this page
Abstract OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study is to determine the seroprevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in blood donors, children, pregnant women, hemodialysis patients and drug addicts in Saudi Arabia. METHODS: Using third generation enzyme immunoassay kits, we have screened Saudi cohorts of all ages and sexes, namely infants, pre-school, school children, young adults and adults (blood donors and antenatals) for antibodies to HCV. We have also reviewed HCV seroprevalence data among high risk groups from 1998 to 2002. RESULTS: An overall 1.1\% (6313 out of 557813) seroprevalence rate was determined among Saudi blood donors; 0.1\% (5 out of 3854) in Saudi children; and 0.7\% (22 out of 3127) among pregnant women. Hemodialysis patients remain at highest risk of infection at 55.7\% whereas intravenous drug addicts have 14\% exposure rate. CONCLUSION: We conclude that the present public health schemes have been effective in reducing hepatitis C infection in the general community in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia but the infection among high risk groups remain a major problem that needs to be actively addressed.
This article was published in Saudi Med J
and referenced in Journal of Blood Disorders & Transfusion