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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Prevalence of HCV among the young male blood donors of Quetta region of Balochistan, Pakistan

Ayesha Khan1, Abdul Malik Tareen1, Aamer Ikram3, Hazir Rahman2, Abdul Wadood1, Muhammad Qasim2 and Kalimullah Khan2*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Microbiology, University of Balochistan, Quetta, Pakistan

2 Department of Microbiology, Kohat University of Science and Technology, Kohat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 26000, Pakistan

3 Combined Military Hospital, Quetta, Pakistan

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Virology Journal 2013, 10:83  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-10-83

Published: 13 March 2013

Abstract

Background

Hepatitis C, caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a contagious disease of the liver which infects more than 170 million people world-wide and around 16 million in Pakistan. HCV associated infection spreads mainly by blood-to-blood contact. In recent years, many studies have been conducted to determine the prevalence of HCV infection in Pakistan; however, no data is available on HCV infection from the largest province of Pakistan. Therefore, the present study focuses on the prevalence of HCV infection in the young male blood donor population of Quetta region of Balochistan, Pakistan.

Methods

A total of 356 blood samples were collected from blood donors (age range 17–25 years) at Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan. Blood samples were screened for HCV positivity by Immunochromatographic test (ICT) and Enzyme Linked Immunosorbant Assay (ELISA).

Results

Out of 356 blood samples, the overall HCV prevalence was 20.8%. Among the HCV positive cases, the age group with 25 years was more frequently infected with a prevalence of 26.3%.

Conclusions

The present study provides the preliminary information about high HCV prevalence among the young male donor population in Balochistan province. This data may be helpful in formulating public health strategy for the prevention of risk factors associated with spreading of the disease. Furthermore, we recommend that in public sector hospitals and health care units ELISA should be preferred for anti-HCV detection over ICT.

Keywords:
Enzyme linked immunosorbant assay; Hepatitis C virus; Immunochromatography; Quetta; Pakistan