Hepatitis C virus in Arab world: a state of concern.

Department of Medical Microbiology & Immunology, Tripoli Medical Centre, Faculty of Medicine Tripoli, PO Box 82668, Tripoli, Libya.
The Scientific World Journal (Impact Factor: 1.22). 01/2012; 2012:719494. DOI: 10.1100/2012/719494
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Hepatitis C virus has been considered to be one of the most important devastating causes of chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatic cellular carcinoma. The prevalence of such virus varies greatly over the world. Arab world has a unique geography and consists over nineteen countries who share the same heritage and customs and do speak the same language. In this area, the epidemiology of hepatitis C is not well understandable. Hepatitis C virus was found to be endemic in Arabia. The serostatus of such virus was found to be variable among these countries with uniform patterns of genotypes. Such prevalence varies tremendously according to the risk factors involved. Blood and blood products, haemodialysis, intravenous, and percutaneous drug users, and occupational, habitual, and social behavior were found to be the important factors involved. Hepatitis C will have major social, economic, and even political burdens on such young and dynamic societies. Thus, strategies and clear policy of intervention are urgently needed to combat the consequences of HCV both regionally and at state level of each country.

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    ABSTRACT: Background: The objective of this study was to analyze quantity, assess quality, and investigate international collaboration in research from Arab countries in the field of public, environmental and occupational health. Methods: Original scientific articles and reviews published from the 22 Arab countries in the category " public, environmental & occupational health " during the study period (1900 – 2012) were screened using the ISI Web of Science database. Results: The total number of original and review research articles published in the category of " public, environmental & occupational health " from Arab countries was 4673. Main area of research was tropical medicine (1862; 39.85%). Egypt with 1200 documents (25.86%) ranked first in quantity and ranked first in quality of publications (h-index = 51). The study identified 2036 (43.57%) documents with international collaboration. Arab countries actively collaborated with authors in Western Europe (22.91%) and North America (21.04%). Most of the documents (79.9%) were published in public health related journals while 21% of the documents were published in journals pertaining to prevention medicine, environmental, occupational health and epidemiology. Conclusion: Research in public, environmental and occupational health in Arab countries is in the rise. Public health research was dominant while environmental and occupation health research was relatively low. International collaboration was a good tool for increasing research quantity and quality.
    Archives of Public Health 01/2015; 73(1).
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    ABSTRACT: Background Hepatitis C virus is considered to be one of the most important devastating causes of chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatic cellular carcinoma. Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) is a pathogen-recognition receptor that is expressed on innate immune cells. It recognizes viral RNA which induces its activation with a subsequent increase in IFN-α transcription. It has been postulated that HCV may cause down regulation of these receptors as one of immune evading mechanisms that participate in viral persistence. The aim of the work Was to investigate the expression of TLR7 in peripheral blood of patients with chronic HCV infections and patients with HCC, comparing it with normal individuals, and correlating it with both serum levels of IFN-α and viral load. Results The results of this study showed a significant decrease in TLR7 expression in patients with chronic HCV and no detection at all in patients with HCC, in addition a significant negative correlation was observed between levels of TLR7expression and interferon α when compared to viral load. Conclusion Down regulation of TLR7 expression in HCV and HCC patients may contribute to the decrease of IFN-α and increase in viral load. These results raise the possibility that by targeting TLR7 with high affinity pharmacological stimulants may be able to control HCV infection by induction of IFN-α and direct activation of antiviral mechanisms in hepatocytes. Additionally, they provide insight about the potential use of TLR7 as a new set of molecular markers for prognosis and outcomes of chronic HCV infection and HCC.
    Egyptian Journal of Medical Human Genetics 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background To meet the future challenges of infectious diseases and limit the spread of multidrug resistant microorganisms, a better understanding of published studies in the field of infectious diseases is needed. The objective of this study was to analyze the quantity and quality of research activity in the field of infectious diseases in Arab countries and compare it with that in non-Arab countries. Methods Documents published in Arab countries within the research category of ?infectious diseases? were extracted and analyzed using the Web of Science database. The data analyzed represent research productivity during the time interval between 1900 ? 2012. Results Worldwide, the total number of documents published in the field of infectious diseases up to 2012 was 227,188. A total of 2,408 documents in the field of infectious diseases were published in Arab countries, which represents 1.06% of worldwide research output. Research output from Arab countries in the field of infectious diseases was low for decades. However, approximately a five-fold increase was observed in the past decade. Arab countries ranked 56th to 218th on the standard competition ranking (SCR) in worldwide publications in the field of infectious diseases. Egypt, with a total publication of 464 (19.27%) documents ranked first among Arab countries, while Kuwait University was the most productive institution with a total of 158 (6.56%) documents. Average citation per document published in Arab countries was 13.25 and the h-index was 64. Tuberculosis (230; 9.55%), malaria (223; 9.26%), and hepatitis (189; 7.8%) were the top three infectious diseases studied as according to the retrieved documents. Conclusion The present data reveals that some Arab countries contribute significantly to the field of infectious diseases. However, Arab countries need to work harder to bridge the gap in this field. Compared with non-Arab countries in the Middle East, research output from Arab countries was high, but more efforts are needed to enhance the quality of this output. Future research in the field should be encouraged and correctly directed.
    Infectious Diseases of Poverty. 03/2015; 4(1):2.

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