Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes acute as well as chronic hepatitis such as cirrhosis of liver and hepatocellular carcinoma. The virus is mainly transmitted through blood and blood products. Hence, in order to provide safe blood supply testing of each blood unit for markers of HCV has been made mandatory. The infection is detected by the presence of anti-HCV antibody in the patientís serum. The objective of the present study was to determine the prevalence of anti-HCV antibodies among indoor patients and blood donors.
Methods: A hospital based cross-sectional study was done from January to June 2016. A total of 1991 subjects comprising of 1649 indoor patients and 342 blood donors were included in the study whose blood samples were screened for presence of anti-Hepatitis C antibody using rapid HCV TRI-DOT and HCV Microlisa.
Results: Out of 1649 indoor patients tested, 39 were found to be reactive, and out of 342 blood donors tested, 4 were found to be reactive, hence, the prevalence of anti-HCV antibody was found to be 2.4% among indoor patients and 1.2% among blood donors. The seroprevalence of anti-HCV antibody was found to be more among replacement donors (1.2%) as compared to voluntary donors (1.1%).
Conclusions: As blood transfusion is an important mode of transmission of HCV, hence, prevention in the form of proper screening of every unit of blood prior to transfusion is mandatory. As voluntary donors are relatively safe, this should be encouraged by organizing frequent blood donation camps.
Anti-HCV antibody, Prevalence, HCV TRI-DOT, HCV Microlisa, Patients, Blood donors