Epidemiology of Hepatitis C Virus in Bangladeshi General Population
Background: Hepatitis C virus is encountered sporadically in Bangladesh. It results in a wide range liver diseases, with asymptomatic acute hepatitis rarely at one end to HCC at the other end of the spectrum.
Methods: 1018 individuals of different age groups and sex with varied religious, educational and social backgrounds were tested for anti-HCV by ELISA. Before testing, blood samples were preserved at -20°C. The study was conducted in a semi-urban location on the outskirts of Dhaka.
Results: 0.88% tested positive for anti HCV. None of them tested positive for HBsAg. There was a male predominance and those who tested positive were mostly between 17 and 50 years of age. Major risk factors for exposure to HBV appeared to be injudicious use of injectable medications, treatment by unqualified, traditional practitioners, mass-vaccination against cholera and smallpox, barbers and body piercing.
Conclusion: HCV remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality in Bangladesh.
Key words: HCV; prevalence; general population; Bangladesh.
BSMMU J 2009; 2(1): 14-17