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    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects >10% of the general population in Egypt, in which intravenous injection with an antimony compound for endemic schistosomiasis in the past has been implicated. To simulate the epidemic history of HCV in Egypt, sera were obtained from 3608 blood donors at 13 governorates in or surrounding the Nile valley during 1999. The prevalence of antibody to HCV (anti-HCV) and genotypes was determined in them, and the molecular evolutionary analysis based on the neutral theory was applied to HCV isolates of genotype 4a, which is outstandingly prevalent in Egypt and indigenous there. Of 3608 sera, 317 (8.8%) were positive for anti-HCV. The molecular evolutionary analysis on 47 HCV genotype 4a isolates of carriers from various districts in Egypt indicated that the spread of HCV-4a would have increased exponentially during the 1940s through 1980 when oral medications became available. In conclusion, the estimated spread time is consistent with the duration of intravenous antimony campaigns in Egypt.
    Journal of Molecular Evolution 03/2004; 58(2):191-5. DOI:10.1007/s00239-003-2541-3 · 1.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) has been classified into six clades as a result of high genetic variability. In the Seine-Saint-Denis district of north-east Paris, the prevalence of HCV-4, which usually infects populations from Africa or the Middle East, is twice as high as that recorded for the whole of continental France (10.2 versus 4.5%). Although the pathogenicity of HCV-4 remains unknown, resistance of HCV-4 to therapy appears to be similar to that observed for HCV-1. In order to characterize the epidemiology of HCV-4 in Paris, sequences of the non-structural 5B gene (332 bp) were obtained from 38 HCV-4-infected patients. Extensive phylogenetic analyses indicated seven different HCV-4 subtypes. Moreover, phylogenetic tree topologies clearly distinguished two epidemiological profiles. The first profile (52.6% of patients) reflects the intra-suburban emergence of two distinct HCV-4 subclades occurring mainly among intravenous drug users (65% of patients). The second profile shows six subclades [HCV-4a, -4f, -4h, -4k, -4a(B) and a new sequence] and accounts for patients from Africa (Egypt and sub-Saharan countries) who have unknown risk factors (77.8% of patients) and in whom no recent diffusion of HCV-4 is evident. This study indicates the high diversity of HCV-4 and the extension of HCV-4a and -4d subclades among drug users in FRANCE:
    Journal of General Virology 06/2001; 82(Pt 5):1001-12. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study was undertaken to assess the biochemical changes induced in chronic schistosomiasis and/or chronic HCV, as well as to pinpoint the most significant parameters which could be used as dependable indices for the differentiation of single and coupled infections with or without liver cirrhosis. The selected patients were allocated into 2 broad groups: GrII (Schistosomiasis) which was subdivided into 3 subgroups: GrII(a) schistosomal patients with hepatosplenomegaly; GrII(b) hepatosplenic schistosomal patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis; GrII(c) schistosomal patients with no organomegaly. GrIII (Combined) comprised 2 subgroups: GrIII(a) schistosomal-HCV infection with decompensated liver cirrhosis; GrIII(b) schistosomal-HCV infection without liver cirrhosis. For statistical comparison normal healthy subjects were taken as a reference group (Gr I). Results showed that schistosomal patients without organomegaly manifested non significant changes in all studied parameters compared to normal controls. Highly significant elevations in serum ALT, AST, ALP and GGT activities were recorded in all other subgroups but the highest levels are reported in GrIIb. AST/ALT and direct/indirect bilirubin ratios were highest in GrIIIa (1.17+/-0.26, 1.54 +/- 0.37, respectively). Serum total protein and albumin levels showed the highest reduction (33 and 59%) concomitantly with the highest increase in gamma-globulin level (75%) in GrIII(a). Blood total iron was significantly reduced in GrII(a,b) (15.6 and 12%) (8.8%) bilirubin, GGT and AST in this order are good discriminators between the different subgroups in GrII. On the other hand, ALT, AST, albumin, ALP, GGT, protein and direct bilirubin are the most significant indices to differentiate chronic schistosomiasis and the combined group with/or without liver cirrhosis.
    Disease markers 02/2000; 16(3-4):111-8. DOI:10.1155/2000/732754 · 2.17 Impact Factor