Northeast India is known for the demographic heterogeneity of its tribal population, but there is no information about hepatitis C virus infection and associated risk factors. Anti-HCV was measured, HCV-RNA was detected based on the 5’ UTR-core region, and genotyping was done by direct sequencing of the NS5b region. Antibodies to HCV were found in 13.7 % of the samples tested (96 out of 700), while HCV-RNA was positive in 73 % of the samples (70 out of 96) and in 5 out of 385 cases of occult HCV infection. Genotypes 1 to 4 were found respectively in 14.6, 7.3, 20, 30.8 %, and genotype 6 in 13.6 %, of the 75 HCV isolates. In acute viral hepatitis (AVH), the most prevalent genotype was 2a (28.6 %), while it was 4a (28 %) in chronic hepatitis C (CHC) and 29.4 % in cirrhosis. Males were more prone than females to HCV infection, and the highest numbers of cases of HCV infection were recorded in the age group of 40-49 years. The major risk factors were intravenous drug abuse (IVDU) (34.6 %), multiple sexual partners (20 %) and contact with professional barbers (38.6 %). The seroprevalence of HCV in Northeast India is higher than in the rest of India. This study highlights the fact that geographical variations occur with respect to HCV genotypes, which could influence the course and progress of different type of liver diseases seen in India.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 1, 2012
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