Molecular Epidemiology of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) in Kaduna State

Z Sheyin, BD Jatau, AI Mamman, AJ Randawa



Objective: To determine the distribution of hepatitis C virus (HCV)  genotypes and subtypes among blood donors and outpatients attendees positive for antibody to HCV (anti-HCV).
Justification: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) continues to be a major disease burden on the world and Man is the only known natural host of Hepatitis C virus (Chivaliez and Pawlotsky, 2007). There is no published data on the prevalence of the genotypes and subtypes of HCV in Kaduna State.
Setting: Three hospitals one in each of the 3 senatorial zones in Kaduna State.
Patients: Blood donors who reported for blood donation and outpatient department attendees.
Method: Antibody detection by a third generation HCV ELISA (Biotech Laboratories, UK); HCV RNA and genotyping by Reverse Transcriptase polymerase chain reaction with genotype-specific primers. (Sacace Biotechnologies, UK).
Results: of the 259 plasma specimens screened for Hepatitis C virus in this study, 20(7.7%) were positive for anti-HCV antibodies by ELISA and 16(6.2%) of the antibodies positive specimen were positive for HCV RNA. Of the 139 blood donors tested, 8 (5.8%) were HCV RNA positive. Similarly, 120 were tested from the outpatient Department attendees and 8 (6.7%) were HCV RNA positive. Hepatitis C virus genotype 1b was found in the entire HCV RNA positive sample.
Conclusions: The findings of 6.2% prevalence of HCV infection based on HCV RNA test confirmed that there is Hepatitis C virus in Kaduna State with genotype 1b as the predominant genotype found in all the three senatorial zones.