|Year : 2006 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 151-152
Seroprevalence of Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Human immunodeficiency viruses amongst drug users in Amritsar
R Tiwari, A Aggarwal, P Devi
Department of Microbiology, Government Medical College, Amritsar - 143 001, Punjab, India
Department of Microbiology, Government Medical College, Amritsar - 143 001, Punjab
|How to cite this article:|
Tiwari R, Aggarwal A, Devi P. Seroprevalence of Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Human immunodeficiency viruses amongst drug users in Amritsar. Indian J Med Microbiol 2006;24:151-2
|How to cite this URL:|
Tiwari R, Aggarwal A, Devi P. Seroprevalence of Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Human immunodeficiency viruses amongst drug users in Amritsar. Indian J Med Microbiol [serial online] 2006 [cited 2013 Jun 20];24:151-2. Available from: http://www.ijmm.org/text.asp?2006/24/2/151/25223
Drug addicts represent a high risk group for acquiring parenterally transmitted viral infections like human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV). It is very likely that an injecting drug user (IDU) infected with HIV will also be infected with HBV and/or HCV because of common high risk behaviours. Amritsar being border city, is a seat of international drug trafficking and the menace of drug addiction. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) has 300 million carriers worldwide, carrier rate in the general population in India is 2-3% with an estimated 43 million carriers and antibodies against hepatitis C virus (HCV) are present in approximately 15 million with prevalence rate of 2%. There are 5.134 million HIV infected cases in India. HIV, HCV and HBV infections may promote each other and be related to needle sharing behaviour in drug users and to different other living habits.
The study carried out in Department of Microbiology, Government medical college, Amritsar, included 250 drug users (both I/V and oral) attending drug de-addiction center and 100 healthy individual with no history of drug use, as control group.
After pretest counselling and informed consent blood sample (5 mL) was collected observing universal precautions. HIV, HBV and HCV infections were detected by ELISA using commercially available kits and following manufacturer's instructions. HIV positive samples were subjected to two other ELISA/rapid/simple (E/R/S) tests. HCV antibodies positive samples were sent to Maulana Azad medical college, New Delhi, for HCV RNA detection by PCR. Seroprevalance of HBs Ag, HCV and anti HIV and co-infections, among various groups is given in the [Table - 1].
Nine out of 30 (33%) HCV positive sera were also positive for HCV RNA. There was increased prevalence of HBsAg in oral group, (84.75%), overall carrier rate of HBsAg being 23.6%. This finding is consistent with an earlier study. Seroprevalance of anti HCV in the present study is 14.8%. Intravenous drug addiction is a major source of infection with hepatitis C virus. Seroprevalance of 9.6% of HIV antibodies is much lower than the study from Delhi. Non-injectable drug users (NIDUs) are less stigmatized than IDU, although NIDUs are more likely to have sexual relationship. NIDUs infected with HIV and/or HCV may thereby function as a sexual bridge of infection to uninfected lower risk population. PCR study showed 33.3% positivity for HCV RNA which indicates that most anti HCV positive cases are chronic in nature.
Such studies will establish early diagnosis and help in initiating treatment which may present long term sequelae like chronic active hepatitis, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Education, counselling and behaviour modifications are the corner stones in prevention of parenterally transmitted viral infections.
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[Table - 1]
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