Article Type

Original Study


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and its mode of transmission in Kafr El-Sheikh governorate. Background: The overall prevalence of antibody to HCV in the general population is around 15–20%. Knowledge of the risk factors and clinical outcome of hepatitis C will provide important information regarding treatment and public health guidelines. Patients and methods: Data were collected on patients exposed to risk factors for HCV transmission or have clinical manifestation of liver cell failure from among outpatients and inpatients at the Liver Institute, Kafr El-Sheikh governorate. Two hundred patients who were HCV positive and 60 patients who were HCV negative, determined according to the one-step test device by ACON Laboratories, were included as cases and controls, respectively. Patients recently exposed to sources of risk factors (at least 6 weeks) were excluded from the study. All the study participants were subjected to history taking and complete physical examination. Results: The study showed that 200 of the studied samples were seropositive (cases), and 60 were seronegative (control). With regard to the risk factors to which the patients were exposed, there were highly significant differences in patients than in controls in relation to blood transfusion, family history, antischistosomal drug (tartar emetic), and surgery. The most significant cause of HCV transmission was intrafamilial exposure [odds ratio (OR) = 8.522, 95% confidence interval (CI) 3.704–19.605], followed by antischistosomal drug injection (OR = 3.905, 95% CI 1.605–9.503) and blood transfusion (OR = 0.2, 95% CI 0.099–0.743). Conclusion: There are several modes of transmission. The most significant cause of HCV transmission was intrafamilial exposure, followed by antischistosomal drug injection and blood transfusion. There should be focus on preventing HCV by reducing its transmission, particularly among those at risk of acquiring the virus. Screening of all family members of HCV-infected patients should be made mandatory.