Published online Jan 27, 2010. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v2.i1.42
Revised: January 14, 2010
Accepted: January 21, 2010
Published online: January 27, 2010
AIM: To determine the seroprevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and its co-infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis delta agent (HDV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among liver disease patients of south Tamil Nadu.
METHODS: A total of 1012 samples comprising 512 clinically diagnosed cases of liver disease patients and 500 apparently healthy age and sex matched individuals were screened for Hepatitis C virus (anti HCV and HCV RNA), Hepatitis B virus (HBsAg), Hepatitis delta agent (anti HDV) and Human immuno virus (antibodies to HIV-1 and HIV-2) using commercially available enzyme linked immunosorbent assay kits. HCV RNA was detected by RT-PCR. Liver function tests like ALT, AST, GGT, ALP, bilirubin and albumin were also studied.
RESULTS: The seroprevalence of HCV was found to be 5.6% among liver disease patients by ELISA. 27/512, 49/512 and 12/512 patients were positive for HIV, HBV & HDV respectively. Co-infection of HCV & HBV was found in 8 patients, with 6 for HCV & HIV and 4 for HCV, HBV & HIV co-infections. Sex-wise analysis showed that HIV, HCV & HBV and HCV & HIV co-infection was high among females whereas for HBV it was high in males. The mean ALT and AST in HCV positive cases were 42.1 ± 8.3 and 49 ± 10.1. In people co-infected with HCV & HBV or HCV & HIV or HCV, HBV & HIV the mean ALT of 58.0 ± 03.16, 56.78 ± 4.401 and 64.37 ± 4.01 respectively.
CONCLUSION: We strongly recommend routine test of the blood for HCV in addition to HBV and HIV. We also recommend individualized counseling to identify those at risk and testing for those who want it. Improved surveillance and periodic epidemiological studies will have to be undertaken to monitor and prevent these blood-borne viruses.