The prevalence of anti-hepatitis C antibody among acute febrile illness cases in Idar Taluk, Gujarat, West India

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Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology


Purpose: The major cause of chronic hepatitis is infections with hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus (HCV) globally. However, there exists sparse epidemiological data regarding the prevalence of HCV infection from India. Methodology: We carried out a cross-sectional study to estimate the prevalence of anti-HCV antibody among acute febrile illness cases aged between 1 and 65 years in Idar Taluk, Sabarkantha district, Gujarat state located in West India. A total of 702 serum samples collected from the study area during the year 2017, were screened for anti-hepatitis C IgG by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The serum samples screened positive were then subjected to molecular testing for confirmation. Results: Among the 702 study participants screened, 16 cases were reported to be anti-HCV IgG positive with an estimated seroprevalence rate of 2.3% (95% confidence interval: 1.4%-3.7%). Out of the 16 cases, two samples were confirmed positive by molecular testing indicating active infection. When analysed phylogenetically, one strain was genotyped as HCV1b genotype, and the other one was clustered along with HCV3a genotype. Both the patients with hepatitis C infection were observed to be having a probable 1-year survival rate of 100% and a 2-year survival rate of 85% when the Child-Turcotte-Pugh classification was applied. Conclusion: The estimated seroprevalence of hepatitis C in Idar Taluk, Sabarkantha district, west India was 2.3%. HCV genotypes 1b and 3a were observed to be circulating in the study area.

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