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Zentralbl Bakteriol. 1995 Jan;282(1):102-12.

Seroprevalence of HCV, HAV, HBV, HDV, HCMV and HIV in high risk groups/Frankfurt a.M., Germany.

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Institut f├╝r Medizinische Virologie, Universit├Ątskliniken Frankfurt.


During the period from August 1991 to April 1993, serum samples originating from different risk groups were tested for antibodies against hepatitis C virus (HCV), using a second-generation ELISA. The highest HCV seroprevalence levels were observed in haemophiliacs (87.0%) and intravenous drug abusers (IVDA) (78.9%). The HCV-seropositivity rates of polytransfused and organ transplant recipients were nearly identical (18.4% vs. 16.8%). Significantly lower HCV-seroprevalence rates were determined in chronic haemodialysis patients (8.1%) and homo/bisexuals (10.0%). The lowest HCV seroprevalence levels were found in the groups of female prostitutes (1.4%) and health care staff (0.8%). A strong correlation between HCV seropositivity and the presence of antibodies against HIV-1, HBc and HCMV was observed. There was also an association between HCV seropositivity and HAV. The seroprevalence of HDV and the proportion of HBsAg and HBeAg carriers was not significantly influenced by HCV serostatus. The incidence of HCV infection in renal transplant recipients was 3.9%. In 10 (6.5%) patients, anti-HCV seroconversion was observed in the immediate post-transplantation period followed by a decrease of the index value and finally, disappearance of antibodies at the end of the study. Antibodies passively acquired through intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) donation may account for overestimation of HCV seroprevalence in retrospective seroepidemiological surveys as established by our findings.

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