Prevalence of HCV Infections Among Hemodialysis Patients in Al Gharbiyah Governorate, Egypt
Introduction: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a significant problem for patients undergoing hemodialysis (HD) treatment. This medical problem has never been studied in Al Gharbiyah Governorate; this study was conducted
aiming to estimate the prevalence of anti-HCV positive patients and the incidence of seroconversion in its different HD units.
Methods: All 2351 patients maintained on HD in the eight towns of Al Gharbiyah Governorate were interviewed and their anti-HCV status was tested by a third-generation enzyme immunoassay. Patients who
tested negative for anti-HCV at the start of the study were re-assessed monthly for HCV seroconversion and at the end of the study all patients were screened for HCV antibodies.
Results: At the start of our study in March 2011, we found that 824 out of 2351 patients (35%) were anti-HCV reactive. At the end of study in November 2011, we found that HCV seroconversion occurred in 168 out of
1527 patients (11%) who were HCV free at the start of the study. By the end of the study, a total of 42.2% were found to be anti-HCV reactive.
Conclusion: The study demonstrated high prevalence of anti-HCV in HD units in Al Gharbiyah Governorate. Similar studies must be conducted in all Egyptian governorates’ HD units to evaluate this major health problem all over Egypt. We also encourage strict application of preventive strategies for HCV infection in all health institutes, especially HD units.