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J Clin Virol. 2001 Jan;20(1-2):81-3.

The detection of hepatitis C virus in South Hungary.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Microbiology, University of Szeged, Somogyi B. tér 1., H-6725 Szeged, Hungary. zsomu@freemail.hu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

More than 100 million people are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) worldwide. The prevalence of HCV infection varies from country to country and the natural history of hepatitis C infection is not well understood.

OBJECTIVES:

The prevalence of anti-HCV positive blood donors in South Hungary was determined. Potential risk factors of HCV transmission were investigated and compared to anti-HCV-negative blood donors. Furthermore, the rate of anti-HCV positivity in children who had received one or more blood transfusions prior to the implementation of anti-HCV blood donor screening was evaluated.

STUDY DESIGN:

A total of 45719 blood donors and 120 children were tested for the presence of anti-HCV antibodies by second- and third-generation enzyme immunoassays. Positive results were confirmed by a recombinant immunoblot assay. Data on potential sources of HCV transmission were obtained by interviews.

RESULTS:

Among blood donors, the rate of confirmed HCV antibody-positives was 0.4% (195 of 45719 donors). Previous surgery, transfusion, more than three pregnancies, and tattoos were significantly correlated with confirmed anti-HCV positivity. Two of 120 children (1.7%) were confirmed anti-HCV positives. In both of them, serum HCV RNA could be detected.

CONCLUSIONS:

The prevalence of anti-HCV positive blood donors in South Hungary is low. Nosocomial infections and tattooing were found to be the most important risk factors for transmission of HCV. Because of the low prevalence of anti-HCV positive blood donors, only a small number of children, who received blood transfusions prior to the implementation of anti-HCV blood donor screening, are infected with HCV.

PMID:
11163587
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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