PREVALENCE OF HEPATITIS C VIRUS AMONG PREGNANT WOMEN OF UPPER EGYPT
Mahmoud Edessy, Mahmoud I. El-Rasheedy, Abd El-Naser Abd El-Gaber Ali#, Salim Ahmed, Ahmad Hashim, Ahmed Ali M. Nasr* and Emad Farouk##
Background: Egypt is a hepatitis C anomaly. Roughly 1: 50 persons are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), nearly one person in ten carries viral RNA and is therefore chronically infected (1). Objective: to find out the prevalence of HCV infection among pregnant women and the possibility of vertical transmission to newborns. Patients & Methds: A total of 1036 full term pregnant women were randomly selected from those attendants of delivery ward of obstetrics department in hospitals of three governorates of Upper Egypt (Assiut, South Vally and Luxor) from September 2014 to December 2015. 3-4 ml of venous blood were obtained from all participants and 5ml of Cord blood immediately after birth in delivery ward or operative room from all babies whom their mother had positive HCV-RNA test. HCV detected by Acon cards (HCV antibody using a third-generation ELISA kit), Positive samples were submitted to a confirmatory test using RNA polymerase chain reaction (bioelisa HCV 4.0). Results: Out of 1036 pregnant women, HCV antibodies test was positive in only 55 cases (5.31%) and was negative in 981 cases (94.69%). According to PCR assay, patients were classified into two groups (Group I with PCR positive in 36 cases (3.4%) and Group II with negative PCR in 1000 cases (96.6%)). As regard to vertical transmission, 19 infants (52.8%) had HCV antibodies positive test but 4 infants only (11.1%) had HCV-PCR positive. Risk factors for HCV infection were advanced maternal age, history of blood transfusion, history of previous surgery, positive husband HCV infection, working at health services (p value <0.001) and residence in rural areas (p value <0.01). Conclusions: The prevalence of HCV in pregnant women in Upper Egypt is lower than in Delta Egypt and had same incidence in other countries. Risk factors for transmission are age, parity, past history of previous surgery, blood transfusion, husbands with HCV infection, working at health services and in rural areas.
Keywords: HCV- Pregnant women - Upper Egypt.
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