Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences

Published by : PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL PUBLICATIONS

ISSN 1681-715X

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ORIGINAL ARTICLE

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Volume 25

July - September 2009

Number  4


 

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Frequency of HCV infection and its genotypes among
patients attending a liver clinic and voluntary blood
donors in a rural area of Pakistan

Syed Zafar Abbas1, Muhammad Ali2, Amtul Husain Muhammad3,
Steve Shaw4, Syed Qamar Abbas5

ABSTRACT

Objectives: To determine the frequency of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and its genotypic distribution in a rural area of Sindh, Pakistan.

Methodology: Retrospective study of patients attending the Free Liver Clinic (FLC), and investigated for detectable HCV antibodies (n=1638), and those screened for HCV infection prior to voluntary blood donation (n=804) at a teaching hospital, located in rural Sindh. All patients had HCV antibodies tested by ELISA. A total of 1022 patients, who tested reactive to HCV antibodies, and who could financially afford to have HCV RNA tested by PCR, had their results analysed. A total of 200 patients also had their HCV genotyped and analysed.

Results: Patients at FLC had a higher chance of being reactive for HCV antibodies, compared to voluntary blood donors (20% VS 14% - p = 0.004). HCV RNA was detectable in 904/1022 (88%) patients. Among typeable genotypes, 125/166 (75%) had a single genotype, and 7 patients (4%) were infected with genotype 1, either alone (n=4) or in combination with 3a.

Conclusions: One out of every five people tested in our FLC, and 14% of "healthy" voluntary blood donors were seropositive for HCV antibodies. Genotype 1 is very rare in our region.

KEYWORDS: Hepatitis C, Seroprevalence, Genotype, Blood donors.

Pak J Med Sci    July - September 2009    Vol. 25 No. 4    579-582

How to cite this article:

Abbas SZ, Ali M, Muhammad AH, Shaw S, Abbas SQ. Frequency of HCV infection and its genotypes among patients attending a liver clinic and voluntary blood donors in a rural area of Pakistan. Pak J Med Sci 2009;25(4):579-582.


1. Syed Zafar Abbas, FRCP, FACP,
2. Muhammad Alim, MRCPI, FCPS,
Department of Medicine,
3. Amtul Husain Muhammad, MBBS,
Department of Pathology,
1,2: Muhammad Medical College & Hospital,
Mirpurkhas Pakistan.
4. Steve Shaw (PhD),
School of Statistics and Mathematics,
University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK
5. Syed Qamar Abbas, MBBS, MA,
Mirpurkhas, Pakistan
St Clare Hospice, Hastingwood, Harlow, UK

Correspondence

Prof. Syed Zafar Abbas,
Dept. of Medicine, Muhammad Medical College & Hospital,
Mirpurkhas, Sindh - Pakistan.
E-mail: drzafarabbas_pk@yahoo.co.uk

* Received for publication: February 3, 2009
* Revision Received: May 30, 2009
* Revision Accepted: June 3, 2009



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