Prevalence of hepatitis C virus seropositivity among multitransfused patients with hereditary anemias in Basra, Iraq


BACKGROUND: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a global public health problem and is a leadingcause of morbidity and death, with regional variations in genotype prevalence.OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to explore the prevalence of anti‑HCV seropositivity among patientswith hereditary anemias, the association of anti‑HCV seropositivity with selected risk factors and thecommon HCV genotypes.PATIENTS AND METHODS: This prospective descriptive study was carried out on patients withhereditary anemias from January 2010 through December 2014 registered at the Center for HereditaryBlood Diseases. A total of 2778 patients (1282 males and 1496 females) were recruited, their meanage was 13.19 ± 9.40 years. Patients were screened for HCV antibodies using an enzyme‑linkedimmunosorbent assay test. Quantitation of the HCV viral load and genotype were assessed usingpolymerase chain reaction (PCR).RESULTS: The frequency of anti‑HCV seropositivity was higher in 2010 (33.7%) and declinedprogressively over the following 4 years (31.7%, 20.2%, 10.8%, and 9.2%), respectively. Out of424 patients with two positive anti‑HCV tests at least 6 months apart, 215 (50.7%) had positive resultswith PCR. The most frequent genotype was 4 in 43 (56.5%), followed by 1 in 31 (40.7%) patients;1a: 21.1% and 1b: 19.6%. A significant association was found between anti‑HCV seropositivity andtype of disease, and deferoxamine pump use, P < 0.05.CONCLUSIONS: Anti‑HCV seropositivity is declining among multitransfused patients