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Reexamination of the relationship between the prevalence of hepatitis C virus and parenteral antischistosomal therapy among Egyptians resident in Qatar

Authors Derbala M, Chandra P, Amer A, John A, Sharma M, Amin A, Thandassery R, Faris A

Received 2 April 2014

Accepted for publication 30 June 2014

Published 3 November 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 427—433


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 4

Moutaz Derbala,1,2 Prem Chandra,3 Aliaa Amer,4 Anil John,1 Manik Sharma,1 Ashraf Amin,1 Ragesh Babu Thandassery,1 Amr Faris5

1Gastroenterology and Hepatology Department, Hamad Hospital, 2Medical Department, Weill Cornell Medical College, Qatar Branch, 3Medical Research Center, Hamad Medical Corporation, 4Laboratory Medicine and Pathology Department, 5Cardiovascular Surgery Department, Hamad Hospital, Doha, Qatar

Abstract: Egypt has the highest prevalence of recorded hepatitis C virus (HCV) worldwide, estimated nationally at 14.7%, which is attributed to extensive iatrogenic transmission during the era of parenteral antischistosomal therapy (PAT) mass-treatment campaigns. The objective of our study was to attempt to highlight to what extent HCV transmission is ongoing and discuss the possible risk factors. We studied the prevalence of HCV among 7.8% of Egyptians resident in Qatar in relation to age, socioeconomic status, and PAT and discuss the possible risk factors. HCV testing was conducted in 2,335 participants, and results were positive for 13.5%, and 8.5% for those aged below 35 years. The prevalence of HCV in the PAT-positive population was 23.7% (123 of 518, 95% confidence interval [CI] 20.2%–27.6%) compared with 11.2% in the PAT-negative group. Significantly higher HCV prevalence occurred in participants who were older than 50 years (23%, 95% CI 19.3%–27.1%) compared to those aged 45–50 years (19.3%, 95% CI 15.2%–23.8%), 35–45 years (11.1%, 95% CI 8.9%–13.7%), and less than 35 years (8.5%, 95% CI 6.8%–10.4%) (P<0.0001). Insignificant higher prevalence occurred in the low socioeconomic group (14.2%, 95% CI 11.3%–17.4%). Logistic regression analysis revealed that increasing age, history of PAT, bilharziasis, and praziquantel were common risk factors, but there was no relation with dental care. Host genetic predisposition seems to be a plausible underlying factor for susceptibility among Egyptians and intense ongoing infection.

Keywords: epidemiology, HCV, schistosomiasis

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