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LETTER TO EDITOR  
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 137
 

The current seroprevalence of Hepatitis C virus in a Tertiary Care Centre in Vellore, Tamil Nadu


Department of Microbiology, Government Vellore Medical College, Vellore, India

Date of Web Publication12-May-2012

Correspondence Address:
V Gowri
Department of Microbiology, Government Vellore Medical College, Vellore
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0970-0218.96110

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How to cite this article:
Gowri V, Chandraleka C, Vanaja R. The current seroprevalence of Hepatitis C virus in a Tertiary Care Centre in Vellore, Tamil Nadu. Indian J Community Med 2012;37:137

How to cite this URL:
Gowri V, Chandraleka C, Vanaja R. The current seroprevalence of Hepatitis C virus in a Tertiary Care Centre in Vellore, Tamil Nadu. Indian J Community Med [serial online] 2012 [cited 2019 Dec 13];37:137. Available from: http://www.ijcm.org.in/text.asp?2012/37/2/137/96110


Sir,

In India about 20 million people are known to have Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection [1] and a quarter of them expected to develop chronic liver disease in the next 10-15 years. The impact of this infection has just started to emerge in India. In the absence of efficient anti-HCV screening in our country, the HCV infection from various sources will continue to add to the disease pool.

In order to know the status of HCV infection in Vellore (Northern Tamil Nadu), 2227 serum samples were screened using the third-generation ELISA (Microlisa), random samples were taken from various representative groups. 1565 samples were taken from voluntary blood donors (care was taken to exclude professional/commercial blood donors), 164 from antenatal women, 310 from STD clinic attendees, and 188 from the Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive patients enrolled for ART. HIV-positive patients were included so as to study the HIV-HCV co-infection.

Among the 2227 serum samples screened, 0.22% (5/2227) were positive for anti-HCV antibodies. The positive samples were confirmed by repeat assay. A prevalence rate of 0.22% was observed on the whole in the various groups. The seroprevalence of HCV varied from one group to another. In voluntary blood donors, 0.13% (2/1565) was detected; seropositivity was still lower (0.13%) than that reported from Madurai [2] (0.75%). In STD clinic attendees, it was 0.32% (1/310). This was however low in comparison to studies from JIPMER [3] and Agra, [4] which recorded a seroprevalence rate of 6% and 1%, respectively. There were no positives detected among the 164 antenatal women. Though Delhi study reported a prevalence of 1.03%, [5] our study correlated with Simla [6] study. The rate of HIV-HCV coinfection in the present study was 1.06%. In comparison with western data, [7] this was very low. Three recent studies on HCV-HIV coinfection from India have reported a prevalence of 3.02% in Andhra Pradesh, [8] 2.2% in Tamil Nadu, [9] and 1.6% in Lucknow. [10]

HCV would be responsible for emerging infection in India whose long-term implications will be felt in the decades to come. Though the prevalence rate of HCV and HCV-HIV coinfection was low in the present study, it was still a warning about the rising profile of the virus in apparently healthy individuals with the consequent risk of transmission of the virus unknowingly. The need for better prevention by health education and screening for HCV in collaboration with public health authorities becomes mandatory. So in the present study, a preliminary report on the current prevalence of the HCV in our tertiary care centre has highlighted the need for further research in this field.

 
   References Top

1.Khaja MN, Madhavi C, Thippavazzula R, Nafeesa F, Habib AM, Habibullah CM, et al. High prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection and genotype distribution among general population, blood donors and risk groups. Infect Genet Evol. 2006;6:198-204.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.Chandrasekaran S, Palaniappan N, Krishnan V, Mohan G, Chandrasekaran N. Relative prevalence of hepatitis B viral markers and hepatitis C virus antibodies (anti HCV) in Madurai, south India. Indian J Med Sci 2000;54:270-3.  Back to cited text no. 2
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3.Bhattacharya S, Badrinath S, Hamide A, Sujatha S. Co-infection with hepatitis C virus and human immunodeficiency virus among patients with sexually transmitted diseases in Pondicherry, South India. Indian J Pathol Microbiol 2003;46:495-7.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.Hussain T, Kulshreshtha KK, Sinha S, Yadav VS, Katoch VM. HIV, HBV, HCV, and syphilis co-infections among patients attending the STD clinics of district hospitals in Northern India. Int J Infect Dis 2006;10:358-63.  Back to cited text no. 4
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5.Kumar A, Sharma KA, Gupta RK, Kar P, Chakravarti A. Prevalence and risk factors for hepatitis C virus among pregnant women. Indian J Med Res 2007;126:211-5.  Back to cited text no. 5
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6.Ganju SA, Goel A. Hepatitis C virus activity in Shimla - a preliminary report. Indian J Med Microbiol 2001;19:227.  Back to cited text no. 6
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7.Mayor AM, Gomez MA, Fernandez DM, Rios-Olivares E, Thomas JC, Hunter RF. Morbidity and mortality profile of human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients with and without hepatitis C co-infection. Am J Trop Med Hyg 2006;74:239-45.  Back to cited text no. 7
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8.Ponamgi SP, Rahamathulla S, Kumar YN, Chandra M, Lakshmi N, Habibullah CM, et al. Prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) coinfection in HIV infected individuals in south India and characterization of HCV genotypes. Indian J Med Microbiol 2009;27:12-6.  Back to cited text no. 8
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9.Saravanan S, Velu V, Kumarasamy N, Nandakumar S, Murugavel KG, Balakrishnan P, et al. Coinfection of hepatiits B and hepatitis C virus in HIV infected patients in south India. World J Gastroenterol 2007;13:5015-20.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.Tripathi AK, Khanna M, Gupta N, Chandra M. Low prevalence of hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus co-infection in patients with human immunodeficiency virus in Northern India. J Assoc Physicians India 2007;55:429-31.  Back to cited text no. 10
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Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hepatology. 2014;
[Pubmed] | [DOI]



 

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