|Year : 2015 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 189-190
Risk factors and genotypes of HCV infected patients attending tertiary care hospital in North India
N Jindal, R Bansal, P Grover, R Malhotra
Department of Microbiology, Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot, Punjab, India
|Date of Submission||19-Dec-2013|
|Date of Acceptance||24-Mar-2014|
|Date of Web Publication||5-Jan-2015|
Department of Microbiology, Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot, Punjab
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Jindal N, Bansal R, Grover P, Malhotra R. Risk factors and genotypes of HCV infected patients attending tertiary care hospital in North India. Indian J Med Microbiol 2015;33:189-90
|How to cite this URL:|
Jindal N, Bansal R, Grover P, Malhotra R. Risk factors and genotypes of HCV infected patients attending tertiary care hospital in North India. Indian J Med Microbiol [serial online] 2015 [cited 2019 May 19];33:189-90. Available from: http://www.ijmm.org/text.asp?2015/33/1/189/148440
Apropos the article entitled "A study of changing trends of prevalence and genotypic distribution of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) among high risk groups in North India'',  we wish to share the data from our region of North India (Faridkot- Malwa region of Punjab). To the best of our knowledge, adequate information from this region is lacking. A total of 12490 unselected patients attending inpatient and outpatient departments of our tertiary care hospital from January 2011 to December 2012 were tested for anti-HCV antibodies by third generation enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) (Microlisa, J Mitra and Co; India) and 839 (6.71%) were found to be positive for anti-HCV antibodies. Of these, 75 were tested for HCV-ribonucleic acid (RNA) using HCV real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) kit (Sacace biotechnologies) on smart cycler II, and 63 (84%) gave positive results for HCV-RNA. Their genotyping was done by Linear array HCV-genotyping kit (Roche Diagnostics, Mannheim, Germany) from an accredited laboratory. The risk factors and genotypes of the HCV-infected patients are shown in [Table 1].
In the present study, the most common risk factor observed was unsafe medical procedures (47.6%), which included history of therapeutic injections and major/minor surgeries [Table 1]. A similar study from the Punjabi population of Lahore (Pakistan) has also reported therapeutic injections (unsafe) as the most common risk factor.  This could be because most of our population believes that injections relieve symptoms quickly. They also lack risk perception due to unsafe injections. A study by Chakravarti et al.,  reported blood transfusion to be the major risk factor (54.8%), which was observed in 30.2% of our study. Although, mandatory screening of blood for HCV was introduced in 2002, it seems that transmission of HCV through unscreened blood still continues. History of dental procedures, which was observed in 22.2% of our study, corroborates the findings of Chakravarti et al. This could be because many dental procedures are performed by untrained individuals using unsterilised equipment.
Similar to other studies from North India, , genotype 3 was the most common (55.6%) among all the risk groups of our study too. This was followed by genotype 1 (42.8%). Genotype 4 which was not observed by Chakravarti et al., was present in 1 (1.6%) of our patients. It has also been reported in Punjabi population of Lahore, Pakistan,  which is approximately 50 km from our region.
In conclusion, our data highlights that the rampant use of injections (unsafe), unscreened blood transfusion, and dental procedures are playing a significant role in increasing the reservoir of HCV infection in Malwa region of Punjab. This underscores the need of strict implementation of infection control practices in healthcare settings and creating awareness among public by mass media, public health education and proper counselling of persons with high-risk practices. Our study also shows that although genotype 3 is the most commongenotypes in our region, other genotypes 1 (42.8%) and 4 (1.6) are also prevalent. This is important since this could influence configuration of diagnostic assays as well as vaccine designs for our population.
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