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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Print version ISSN 0074-0276On-line version ISSN 1678-8060


ALBUQUERQUE, Ana Cecília C de et al. Prevalence and risk factors of hepatitis C virus infection in hemodialysis patients from one center in Recife, Brazil. Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz [online]. 2005, vol.100, n.5, pp.467-470. ISSN 0074-0276.

A hemodialysis population from a dialysis unit in the city of Recife, Northeastern Brazil, was screened to assess the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and to investigate the associated risk factors. Hemodialysis patients (n = 250) were interviewed and serum samples tested for anti-HCV antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). All samples were also tested for HCV RNA by reverse transcriptase nested polymerase chain reaction (RT-nested-PCR). Out of 250 patients, 21 (8.4%) were found to be seropositive by ELISA, and 19 (7.6%) patients were HCV RNA positive. HCV viraemia was present in 90.5% of the anti-HCV positive patients. The predominant genotype was HCV 1a (8/19), followed by 3a (7/19), and 1b (4/19). None of the anti-HCV negative patients were shown to be viraemic by the PCR. Univariate analysis of risk factors showed that time spent on hemodialysis, the number of blood transfusions and a blood transfusion before November 1993 were associated with HCV positivity. However, multivariate analysis revealed that blood transfusions before November 1993 were significantly associated with HCV infection in this population. Low prevalence levels were encountered in this center, however prospective studies are necessary to confirm these findings.

Keywords : prevalence; risk factors; hemodialysis; genotypes; hepatitis C virus; polymerase chain reaction; Recife; Brazil.

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