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Enferm Infecc Microbiol Clin. 2002 Feb;20(2):64-7.

[Seroprevalence of hepatitis C virus in the general population].

[Article in Spanish]

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  • 1Servicios de Medicina Interna, Hospital Virgen de la Concha, Zamora, Spain.



To determine the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and to study associated risk factors in the general population of the province of Zamora.


For this transversal, observational, descriptive, population study, we randomly selected 1973 individuals over 14 years old and grouped them according to age and sex. The study included completion of a questionnaire containing socio-demographic information and data on risk factors. Serum samples were collected for analysis of antibodies to HCV by means of a third-generation ELISA, and were confirmed by an immunoblot technique. Viral load and genotype analyses were carried out in positive cases by polymerase chain reaction technique.


Among the total, 600 complete studies (questionnaires and serum samples) 657 questionnaires and 675 samples were obtained. Eleven serum samples tested positive for HCV and among these, 5 were confirmed by immunoblot. The positive samples corresponded to 3 men and 2 women; 4 lived in urban settings and all 5 had one or more known risk factors for acquiring the infection.


The prevalence of HCV infection in our geographical area was 0.74% (95% CI, 0.27-1.82). The seropositive individuals detected in this population screening study had a history of parenteral risk activities and most lived in urban areas.

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