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Year : 2002  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 40-41

Seroprevalence of anti HCV antibody in and around Cuttack, Orissa

Department of Microbiology, S.C.B. Medical College, Cuttack - 753 007, Orissa, India

Correspondence Address:
Department of Microbiology, S.C.B. Medical College, Cuttack - 753 007, Orissa, India

 ~ Abstract 

One hundred ninety (190) serum samples and 52 control samples consisting of high risk individuals were screened for anti HCV antibody by 3rd generation ELISA test. The prevalence rate was found to be 1.57% in total but it was 2.12% in healthy voluntary blood donors. All were males between the age group of 21 to 40 years. All the control samples were found to be seronegative for anti HCV ab.

How to cite this article:
Mishra S, Chayani N, Sarangi G, Mallick B, Pati S B. Seroprevalence of anti HCV antibody in and around Cuttack, Orissa. Indian J Med Microbiol 2002;20:40-1

How to cite this URL:
Mishra S, Chayani N, Sarangi G, Mallick B, Pati S B. Seroprevalence of anti HCV antibody in and around Cuttack, Orissa. Indian J Med Microbiol [serial online] 2002 [cited 2021 Feb 25];20:40-1. Available from:

Recently Hepatitis C virus has been found to be a leading cause of transfusion related hepatitis1 where the transmission is primarily by the parental route which is common in drug addicts, recipient of blood and blood products and patients on haemodialysis.2,3 This is also commonly observed in voluntary blood donors and health care personnel.[4]
Though the virus produces a milder clinical presentation, only 50% of the patients recover from the infection. Rest of the patients either pass to chronic hepatitis or run the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma, over a prolonged period of time.5 It has been seen that more than 95% of the patients with chronic infection show the presence of anti HCV antibody (ab). In India, studies show a carrier rate of 0.12% to 4%.6 Recent studies from Delhi revealed an incidence of 1.4%7 and 0.12%8 in Western India, but no such reports are available from Eastern part of India.
The present study is conducted to determine the seroprevalence of anti HCV ab in voluntary blood donors and among patients of different clinical wards of S.C.B. Medical College Hospital, Cuttack, as reports on this entity from the state of Orissa are lacking.

 ~ Materials and Methods Top

One hundred ninety serum samples were tested to assess the prevalence of anti HCV ab. This includes 141 healthy voluntary blood donors, 40 from the patients of different wards and 9 from persons who attended the voluntary blood testing centre of AIDS cell present in Department of Microbiology. A total number of 52 health personnel i.e. staff members and laboratory workers of Microbiology and Pathology department was included as normal healthy controls and their serum samples were simultaneously screened for anti HCV ab. Anti HCV ab was detected by using 3rd generation ELISA kit test (manufactured by General Biological Corp., Imported & marketed in India by Life Medicare and Diagnostic Pvt. Ltd.). The sensitivity and specificity of the test was 100% and 99.9% respectively according to the product monograph. The test was carried out following the procedure mentioned in the kit.

 ~ Results Top

From a total of 190 serum samples tested, 3 were found to be positive for anti HCV ab (1.57%). All 3 positive samples were from 141 healthy voluntary blood donors (2.12%) and all were males between the age group of 21 to 40 years. The rest 49 cases whose serum samples were tested was found to be negative for anti HCV ab [Table - 1].
All the 52 health personnel who were taken as controls (Pathologists, Microbiologists and lab workers) were found to be seronegative for anti HCV ab despite their high risk status due to exposure in the laboratory [Table - 2].

 ~ Discussion Top

In this study, we found a seroprevalence rate of 1.57% in total and 2.12% from 141 healthy voluntary blood donors by the newer sensitive screening assays like 3rd generation ELISA. This prevalence is at par with a study conducted at Jodhpur where the prevalence rate was 2.46%,9 in contrast to a study from Hyderabad reporting prevalence of 4%4 and that from AIIMS, New Delhi reporting it to be 1.4% only.7 Health care personnel with frequent exposure to blood and blood products show higher prevalence rate of anti HCV ab, accidental needle stick injuries being contributory. The seroprevalence rate has been reported to be ranging from 1% to 1.8%.[10] In our study, out of 52 medical health care personnel from pathology and Microbiology Department, none showed seropositivity which may be because of small sample size. Should it have included other high risk medical personnel like Dentists, Surgeons, Nursing Staff and Physicians, a higher prevalence rate may have been obtained.
In our study, 3 positive cases belonged to 21-40 years age group. Study conducted in Singapore showed number of positive cases to be maximum in 36-40 years group (76.92%) than in 31-35 years age group (71.43%).[11] But our small sample size does not allow our data to be compared with other reports.
HCV infection is the most important cause of chronic hepatitis in several countries of the world. But at present no vaccine is available for it. Because of the increasing prevalence rate it is necessary that medical personnel and health care workers must be educated and trained about the danger and consequences of HCV infection. All anti HCV ab positive patients must be considered highly infectious and must be prohibited from donating blood, organ, tissues or semen. Therefore, routine screening of all the blood donors should be done in Blood Bank.
It is time we acted and took appropriate steps to generate public awareness about different aspects of the disease and preventive measures till we get a definite answer to the problem through an effective vaccine. 

 ~ References Top

1.Tobias wards Jr. Hepatitis C virus epidemiology and transmission. Hepatology 1997; 26(3): 521-526.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Morfini M, Panuccci PM, Ciavarella N. Prevalence of infection with HCV among Italian haemophilics before and after introduction of virally inactivated clotting factor. Vox Sang 1994; 67: 178-182.   Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Salunkhe PN, Naik SR, Samuel SN. Prevalence of Ab to HCV in HBs Ag negative haemodialysis patients. Indian J Gastroenterol 1992; 11(4): 164-165.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Faress N, Rawa D, Aruna B. Prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection in blood donors. Indian J Gastroenterol 1995; 15: V-8.   Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Tremolada F, Casarin C, Alberti A, Drago C, Tragger A, et al. Long term follow up of Non-A, Non-B (Type C) post transfusion hepatitis. J Hepatol 1992;16: 273-281.   Back to cited text no. 5    
6.Kar P, Jain A. Seroprevalence of HCV in healthy Indians. In: Sarin SK, Hess G (eds). Transfusion Associated Hepatitis: Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention. CBS Publishers and Distributors, New Delhi; 1998; 97-102.  Back to cited text no. 6    
7.Irshad M, Acharya SK, Joshi YK. Prevalence of HCV Ab in general population and in selected groups of patients in Delhi. Ind J Med Res 1995; 102: 162-164.  Back to cited text no. 7    
8.Arankalle VA, Chadha MS, Jha J. Prevalence of anti HCV Ab in Western India. Indian J Med Res. 1995; 101: 91-93.  Back to cited text no. 8    
9.Baheti R, Gehlot RS, Baheti R. Seroprevalence of Anti HCV Ab in Healthy Voluntary Blood Donors and in High risk individuals. JIACM 2000; 1(3): 230-232.   Back to cited text no. 9    
10.Alter MU, Mast EE. The epidemiology of viral hepatitis in US. Gastroenterol Clin North Am 1994; 23: 435-437.   Back to cited text no. 10    
11.Guan R, Yap I, Lee E, Choong L, Woo KT. Prevalence of antibody to Hepatitis C Virus in patients with special disease conditions in Singapore. Virus information Exchange News Letter 1990; 7(2): 46.  Back to cited text no. 11    
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