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Asian J Transfus Sci. 2018 Jul-Dec;12(2):112-116. doi: 10.4103/ajts.AJTS_73_17.

Experience of hepatitis C virus seroprevalence and its genomic diversity among transfusion-dependent thalassemia patients in a transfusion center.

Author information

1
Thalassaemia Control Unit, Imambara Sadar Hospital, Chinsurah, Hooghly, West Bengal, India.
2
ICMR Virus Unit, I.D. and B.G. Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

One of the most common blood-borne transfusion-transmitted diseases is hepatitis C. Patients with a history of multiple blood transfusions are significantly at a greater risk of infection by contaminated blood and blood products. Beta thalassemia major is one such condition where repeated blood transfusions are required for patient management.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

The present study was conducted to investigate the serological prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV), its viremia, and genotype distribution with clinical parameters among multitransfused thalassemic individuals. In this study, a total of 300 patients were screened to detect anti-HCV antibody in serum, along with liver function parameters and genotyping.

RESULTS:

Seventy-five (25%) patients were found to be HCV positive by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Among them, 49 (65%) were HCV RNA positive having a significant viral load in their blood and rest 26 (35%) were below detection level, which signify auto clearance of the virus in those patients. According to our study, HCV genotype 3 was the major circulating strain (92.59%) followed by genotype 1. Liver enzymes, such as alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, and total bilirubin, were significantly elevated among HCV seroreactive individuals.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study clearly indicates that the incidence of transfusion-transmitted hepatitis C is high in thalassemia patients, but actual scenario of HCV viremia can only be found by HCV RNA qualitative and quantitative detection method and not by ELISA, is a major concern for this high-risk group of population.

KEYWORDS:

Beta thalassemia; enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; hepatitis C; hepatitis C virus genotype; real-time polymerase chain reaction method

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