Wharfe, Gillian H. ; Smikle, Monica ; Dowe, Gwendolyn; Buchner, L.; Choo-Kang, Eric G.; Graham, S.; King, D.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Pathology
Seroprevalence of Hepatitis C Virus in Haemophiliacs in Jamaica.
Date of Publication
Haemophilic patients (n = 90) and household contacts (n = 40) were tested for serological markers of hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and elevated serum aminotransferases using commercially prepared reagents. Of the haemophiliacs 41% (37/90) tested positive for antibodies to HCV (anti-HCV); 36% (32/90) antibodies to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc); 54% (49/90) antibodies to hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs) and 2% (2/90) hepatitis B surface antigen. On the other hand, 29% (26/90) of the patients and 90% (36/40) of the household contacts tested negative for all of the viral markers. Anti-HCV positivity in the haemophilic patients correlated positively with anti-HBc (p < 0.025). Increasing age (odds ratio 2.09; p < 0.01), severity of disease (odds ratio 6.2; p < 0.05) and the requirement for transfusion (odds ratio 3.2; p < 0.05) were risk factors for anti-HCV positivity. The presence of anti-HBc (odds ratio 3.8; p < 0.01) and coinfection with HCV and HBV also correlated positively with age (odds ratio 2.5; p < 0.01). The provision of anti-HCV screened donor blood and virally inactivated blood products for treatment of all haemophilic patients are goals that must be achieved. (AU)....