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Title: Hepatitis C virus: Prevalence and routes of infection among blood donors of West Mexico
Author: Vivas-Arceo, C.
Benavides, S.A.
De Jesus Trujillo, J.
Panduro-Cerda, Arturo
Rivas-Estilla, A.M.
Issue Date: 2003
Abstract: In Latin America few studies have explored frequency and risk factors predicting hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in blood donors. In this study we determined the prevalence of HCV infection in blood donors from West Mexico. Potential risk factors, clinical, histological and virologic characteristics presented in this group were also evaluated. Methods: HCV antibodies were evaluated in 57 108 blood donors with commercial second-generation enzyme immunoassays. Positive results were confirmed by a recombinant immunoblot assay. Repeatedly seropositive donors were further studied for risk factors, history for hepatitis, hepatic enzymes (aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase (AST and ALT)), liver histology and hepatitis C virus-ribonucleic acid (HCV-RNA) detection. Results: A total of 499 blood donors were initially tested positive doubtful for antibodies to HCV Ab (0.8%). While there was no difference in HCV prevalence with respect to age or gender, the most frequent risk factors identified were transfusion (42%), household exposure (14.8%), multiple sex partner (6.8%) and intranasal cocaine use (2.3%). Also, we found that from a subgroup of donors tested for histological analysis, 19% presented abnormal ALT levels and 90% showed abnormal liver histology. No correlation was found between abnormal ALT levels and the presence of HCV-RNA in serum. Conclusion: These results demonstrate a low prevalence (0.8%) of HCV infection among Western Mexican blood donors, which was comparable to those established for Western countries, but in contrast in our study the most frequent risk factor continues being transfusion followed by household exposure. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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