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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.

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



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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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