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Year : 2001  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 227

Hepatitis C virus activity in Shimla - A preliminary report

Department of Microbiology, IGMC, Shimla - 171 001, India

Correspondence Address:
Department of Microbiology, IGMC, Shimla - 171 001, India

How to cite this article:
Ganju S A, Goel A. Hepatitis C virus activity in Shimla - A preliminary report. Indian J Med Microbiol 2001;19:227

How to cite this URL:
Ganju S A, Goel A. Hepatitis C virus activity in Shimla - A preliminary report. Indian J Med Microbiol [serial online] 2001 [cited 2021 Mar 2];19:227. Available from:

Dear Editor,
Hepatitis C virus is one of the major causes of parenterally acquired hepatitis. It has been estimated that at least 200 million people are affected world wide and the infection leads to progressive liver disease.[1] Most subjects acutely infected with HCV will develop a persistent infection and nearly 70% exhibit a chronic necroinflammatory process in the liver.[2] Chronic hepatitis C is also associated with a significant risk of development of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.[3] Specific tests for detection of HCV became available in 1989 and approximately 80% of the cases of non-A, non-B post-transfusion hepatitis have been found related to hepatitis C virus.[4] The prevalance of anti-HCV antibodies in healthy individuals has been reported to be 1.5% in Delhi.[5] From Western India only one out of 830 persons screened was detected positive for anti - HCV antibody.[6] The mode of transmission of HCV is parenteral, similar to other two parenterally acquired infections, HBV and HIV infections. Both the diseases are present in our environment, therefore, the presence of HCV infection can be speculated in our state. In order to know the status of HCV infection in Shimla, 1550 serum samples were screened from Feb'98 to Jan' 99 using the third generation ELISA, MONOLISA HCV ELISA supplied by ACE Diagnostics and Biotech Limited and INNO-LIA HCV AbIII supplied by Innogenetics, India.
Random samples were taken from various representative groups. Two hundred samples were taken from clinically diagnosed patients of hepatitis, 200 from the voluntary blood donors and 200 from health care workers. Two hundred and fifty samples were taken from the attendees of the STD clinic and 250 from the antenatal women. Four hundred and fifty samples were taken from the healthy population. Out of the total of 1550 samples screened, antibodies to HCV could be detected in one sample which was confirmed by a repeat assay. However, the patient did not belong to this state of Himachal Pradesh and had history of drug abuse and was asymptomatic. This shows that there is relative absence of HCV infection in Shimla. However, the work is being continued further to evaluate the present status in our district. 

 ~ References Top

1.Preston H, Wright TL. Interferon therapy for hepatitis C. The Lancet 1996; 348:973-974.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Alter MJ, Margolis HS, Krawczynski K et al for the Sentinel Counties Chronic Non - A, Non - B hepatitis study team. The Natural History of Community-Acquired Hepatitis C in the United States. The New Eng J of Med 1992; 327(27):1899-1905.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Rasi G, Di Virgilio D, Mutchnick MG, Colella F, Sinibaldi-Vallebona P, Pierimarchi P, Valli B, Garaci E. Combination thymosin x1 and lymphoblastoid interferon treatment in chronic hepatitis C. GUT 1996; 39: 679-683.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Sood B, Saxena R. What is Safe blood. In: Hepatitis B in India Problems and Prevention, 1st Edn. Sarin SK, Singal AK Eds. CBS Publishers & Distributors, New Delhi 1996;91-107.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Irshad M, Acharya SK, Joshi YK. Prevalence of hepatitis C virus antibodies in general population and in selected groups of patients in Delhi. Indian J Med Res 1995;102: 162-164.  Back to cited text no. 5    
6.Arankalle VA, Chada MS, Jha J, Amarapurkar DN, Banerjee K. Prevalence of anti-HCV antibodies in Western India. Indian J Med Res 1995; 101: 91-93.  Back to cited text no. 6    
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