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Transplant Proc. 2004 Jul-Aug;36(6):1824-6.

Seroprevalence of hepatitis C virus and hepatitis B virus among dialysis patients in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

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  • 1Faculty of Medicine, Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Bahrain.


Dialysis patients are at risk for contracting blood-borne infections, including hepatitis viruses (HBV and HCV). The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of HBV and HCV infection among hamodialysis patients in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Study subjects comprised 81 Bahraini and 34 Saudi dialysis patients, and as control 7714 Bahraini and 2330 Saudi blood donors. Serologic markers of HBV (HBsAg, anti-HBc) and HCV (anti-HCV) were determined by EIA and confirmed by PCR (HBV) and RT-PCR (HCV). Higher prevalence of HCV (9.240% vs 0.300%, P <.001), HBsAg (5.88% vs 0.620%; P <.001), but not anti-HBc (1.7% vs 4.6%; P =.01) were seen in patients compared to controls, respectively. When compared to Bahrainis, higher prevalence of HBsAg (11.8% vs 3.7%) and anti-HCV (14.7% vs 7.4%) were seen among Saudi patients, respectively. Double HCV infection was frequent, and the most prevalent types were HCV1a/1b plus HCV4 in Bahraini, and HCV 2/2a plus HCV 4 among Saudi dialysis patients. Our results are the first report on viral hepatitis among dialysis patients in Bahrain, and the first to compare HBV/HCV rates among dialysis patients in the Eastern Arabian peninsula, and confirms other results that documented increased HBV and HCV infection among dialysis patients. Future studies aimed at assessing the status and to monitor the progress of viral hepatitis infection among dialyzed and transfused patients will have a strong impact on patient diagnosis, follow-up, and treatment.

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