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Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2010 Feb;105(1):103-6.

Prevalence and genotyping of hepatitis C virus in blood donors in the state of Pará, Northern Brazil.

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  • 1Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal do Pará, Belém, PA, Brasil.


Given the scarcity of epidemiological information on hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in Northern Brazil, we determined the prevalence and genotypic frequency in blood donors in the state of Pará (PA). Blood samples from all of the blood donors at the Fundação HEMOPA (blood bank of PA) from 2004-2006 were screened for the presence of antibodies to anti-HCV and samples seroreactive to anti-HCV were further tested for HCV RNA using real-time PCR. In total, 116 HCV-RNA samples were genotyped, based on maximum likelihood phylogenetic analyses, using BioEdit, Modelgenerator, PHYML and FigTree software. The population consisted of 242,726 volunteers who donated blood from 2004-2006; the most common subgroup was males between the ages of 18-29 years old (37.30%). Within the whole group, 1,112 blood donors (0.46%) had indeterminate or positive serology; among these, 28.78% were males whose ages ranged from 18-29 years. A diagnosis of chronic HCV infection was confirmed for 304 donors (60.20% males; 66.45% were 30-49 years old), resulting in a prevalence of HCV RNA in 0.13% of the samples (304 of 242,726). HCV genotyping revealed a high frequency of genotype 1 (108/116) followed by genotype 3 (8/116). This study found HCV infection to be relatively infrequent in PA; genotype 1 was most commonly isolated. This information can help guide prevention and control policies aimed at efficient diagnosis and control measures.

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