A 25-year study of the clinical and histologic outcomes of hepatitis C virus infection and its modes of transmission in a cohort of initially asymptomatic blood donors.
ABSTRACT A total of 738 volunteer blood donors who were positive for anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV) were assessed for risk factors and outcomes for up to 15 years within the study and up to 54 years from the estimated onset of infection.
A third-generation recombinant immunoblot assay (RIBA) was performed to distinguish true from false anti-HCV reactivity. Findings of HCV polymerase chain reaction classified subjects as having chronic HCV infection or as having recovered. Liver biopsy specimens were staged by Ishak fibrosis score and graded by histologic activity index.
Of 738 anti-HCV-positive subjects, 469 (64%) had positive RIBA results, 217 (29%) had negative results, and 52 (7%) had indeterminate results. Primary independent risk factors were injection drug use (odds ratio [OR], 35.0; P < .0001), blood transfusion (OR, 9.9; P < .0001), and intranasal cocaine use, including 79 "snorters" who repeatedly denied injection drug use or blood transfusion (OR, 8.5; P < .0001). Classification and regression tree and random forest analyses confirmed these risk factors. A total of 384 RIBA-positive donors (82%) were HCV RNA positive; of these, liver biopsy specimens from 185 (48%) showed no fibrosis in 33%, mild fibrosis in 52%, bridging fibrosis in 12%, and cirrhosis in 2% a mean duration of 25 years after infection. Analysis of 63 repeat biopsy specimens showed that 8% progressed ≥2 Ishak stages over 5 years (mean progression, 0.06 Ishak stages/year).
Injection drug use and blood transfusion before 1990 are dominant risk factors for HCV acquisition; intranasal cocaine use may be a surreptitious route of parenteral spread. After a mean of 25 years of HCV infection, histologic outcomes were relatively mild: 85% had no or mild fibrosis, and only 2% had cirrhosis. Nearly one-fifth spontaneously recovered.
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ABSTRACT: Objectives. We described hepatitis C virus antibody (anti-HCV) prevalence in a state prison system and retrospectively evaluated the case-finding performance of targeted testing of the 1945 to 1965 birth cohort in this population. Methods. We used observational data from universal testing of Pennsylvania state prison entrants (June 2004-December 2012) to determine anti-HCV prevalence by birth cohort. We compared anti-HCV prevalence and the burden of anti-HCV in the 1945 to 1965 birth cohort with that in all other birth years. Results. Anti-HCV prevalence among 101 727 adults entering prison was 18.1%. Prevalence was highest among those born from 1945 to 1965, but most anti-HCV cases were in people born after 1965. Targeted testing of the 1945 to 1965 birth cohort would have identified a decreasing proportion of cases with time. Conclusions. HCV is endemic in correctional populations. Targeted testing of the 1945 to 1965 birth cohort would produce a high yield of positive test results but would identify only a minority of cases. We recommend universal anti-HCV screening in correctional settings to allow for maximum case identification, secondary prevention, and treatment of affected prisoners.American Journal of Public Health 06/2014; 104(6):e69-74. · 3.93 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Currently, sharing of drug paraphernalia is the main form of HCV transmission worldwide. In South America, consistent findings indicate that shared sniffing equipment is an important factor in the spread of HCV among non-injecting drug users. Epidemiological data on the status of HCV infection in illicit drug users in the Amazon region are scarce, although reports of clinical cases of hepatitis or pathologies associated with HCV infection in other population groups are numerous. Thereby, this study investigated the prevalence, genotype frequency, and epidemiological factors associated with HCV infection in non-injecting drug users in the state of Para, eastern Amazon. During 2008-2011, 300 non-injecting drug users attending drug-treatment centers participated in this study. Most non-injecting drug users were male (63.7%). The mean age was 32.5 years. The non-injecting drugs most consumed were: cannabis (15.6%), cocaine paste (21.3%), and oxi cocaine (25.7%). Tobacco (60.9%) and alcohol (79.4%) were also commonly consumed. One hundred six (35.1%; CI 95%: 29.8 - 41.1) non-injecting drug users presented anti-HCV antibodies by EIA. The HCV-RNA prevalence was 28.0% (95% CI: 20.6 - 35.8). Genotypes 1 (76.9%) and 3 (23.1%) of HCV have been identified. A multivariate analysis demonstrated that HCV infection was independently associated with the following factors: "age (>= 35 years)", "tattoos", "use of a needle or syringe sterilized at home", "shared use of drug paraphernalia", "uses drugs for more than 5 years", and "use of drugs everyday". This study revealed a high prevalence of HCV infection in non-injecting drug users, and most infections are occasioned by genotype 1. Likely, HCV transmission is associated with the tattoos, the use of needle or syringe sterilized at home by people over the age of 35 years, and sharing, time and frequency of use of non-injecting drugs. These findings should serve as an incentive for the establishment of a program of Hepatitis C prevention and control by the local public-health authorities in order to develop effective policies and strategies for contain the spread of HCV infection.Virology Journal 02/2014; 11(1):38. · 2.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study evaluated epidemiological factors for HCV infection associated with sharing perforating and cutting instruments among candidates for blood donation (CBD) in the city of Belém, Pará, Brazilian Amazon. Two definitions of HCV infection cases were used: anti-HCV positivity shown by EIA, and HCV-RNA detection by PCR. Infected and uninfected CBD completed a questionnaire about possible risk factors associated with sharing perforating and cutting instruments. The information was evaluated using simple and multiple logistic regressions. Between May and November 2010, 146 (1.1%) persons with anti-HCV antibodies and 106 (0.8%) with HCV-RNA were detected among 13,772 CBD in Belém. Risk factors associated with HCV infection based on the EIA (model 1) and PCR (model 2) results were: use of needles and syringes sterilized at home; shared use of razors at home, sharing of disposable razors in barbershops, beauty salons etc.; and sharing manicure and pedicure material. The models of HCV infection associated with sharing perforating and cutting instruments should be taken into account by local and regional health authorities and by those of other countries with similar cultural practices, in order to provide useful information to guide political and public strategies to control HCV transmission.Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo 12/2014; 56(6):511-5. · 0.96 Impact Factor