FREQUENCY, RISK FACTORS, AND GENOTYPES FOR HEPATITIS C VIRUS IN HEALTHY MALE INDIVIDUALS FROM OKARA GARRISON
Objective: To determine the frequency, risk factors, and genotypes for hepatitis C virus (HCV) in healthy male individuals from Okara garrison
Study Design: Descriptive cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: The study was conducted in Departments of internal medicine and pathology, Combined Military Hospital Okara and Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Rawalpindi, from Oct 2013 to Mar 2014. Material and Methods: A total of 6500 healthy individual from Okara garrison and the surrounding areas, coming to Combined Military Hospital, Okara, without pervious history of HCV infection were sampled through non-probability consecutive sampling. Blood samples were subjected to rapid screening of HCV infection using Intec immune chromatographic kits. All positive cases were confirmed by 4th generation Monolisa HCV Ag-Ab ULTRA enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for HCV RNA using smart cycler automated real-time PCR system. The genotyping of HCV RNA was done with COBAS AMPLICOR HCV MONITOR Test, version 2.0. All positive cases were asked to fill a questionnaire in Urdu regarding different risk factors for HCV infection. The data were analysed using SPSS version 20. Results: A total of 6235 individuals were tested for anti HCV antibodies. Out of 6235, 270 (4.3%) participants were positive on immunochromatography and ELISA. among 270 participants (mean age: 31 ± 7 years), 162 (60%) were positive for HCV by PCR, whereas, 108 (40%) were negative. Genotyping for only 211 personnel could be made available. The genotype 3 was the commonest (68.7%, n=145) genotype. The most common risk factor was dental treatment in the past (26.3%) followed by previous surgery (23.7%).
Conclusion: A frequency of 4.3% for HCV seropositivity was observed in our cohort of male individuals from Okara garrison and the surrounding areas. Genotype 3 was the commonest (68.7%) genotype observed for HCV. Previous dental procedures and surgeries were the commonest risk factors found in HCV infected personnel.