Egypt is the country with the largest hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemic in the world. In 2008, a Demographic Health Survey (DHS) was carried out in Egypt, providing for the first time a unique opportunity for HCV antibody testing on a nationwide representative sample of individuals. Consenting individuals answered a questionnaire on socio-demographic characteristics and iatrogenic exposures, before providing a blood sample for HCV antibody testing by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Factors independently associated with HCV infection were examined through multivariate logistic regression models. Of 12 780 eligible subjects aged 15-59 years, 11 126 (87.1%) agreed to participate and provided a blood sample. HCV antibody prevalence nationwide was 14.7% (95% CI 13.9-15.5%) in this age group. HCV antibody prevalence gradually increased with age, reaching, in the 50-59 years age group, 46.3% and 30.8% in males and females, respectively. It was higher in males compared to females (17.4% versus 12.2%, respectively, P < 0.001), and in rural compared to urban areas (18.3% versus 10.3%, respectively, P < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, age, male sex, poverty, past history of intravenous anti-schistosomiasis treatment, blood transfusion, and living outside of the Frontier Governorates were all significantly associated with an increased risk of HCV infection. In addition, in urban areas, lack of education and being circumcised for females were associated with an increased risk of HCV infection. This study confirmed on a nationwide representative sample the very high HCV antibody prevalence in Egypt. It stresses the urgent need for strengthening prevention efforts, and bringing down the costs of antiviral drugs for countries like Egypt, where the people in the most precarious situations are also those most likely to be infected by the virus.
"The most frequently observed NS5A substitutions emerge at positions 28, 30, 31, and 93, although substitutions at 32, 58, 62 and 92 have been reported     . Limited data is available for GT4, and most available data are on subgenotype 4a  , that is the most frequent subgenotype in Egypt  . "
"Seropositive specimens were tested for HCV RNA using the RealTime m2000 system (Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, IL, USA). Full details of the survey and sampling strategy have been previously published   "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective. To identify the risk factors for HCV infection within married couples in Egypt. Methods. In 2008 Egypt conducted its first nationally representative survey of HCV prevalence. 11126 of the 12780 individuals aged 15-59 year who were sampled agreed to participate and provided information via a questionnaire about demographic and behavioural characteristics and blood for HCV antibody and RNA analysis. We assessed the risk factors for HCV infection in a subsample of 5182 married individuals via multivariate logistic regression. Results. Overall HCV antibody prevalence in the married couples was 18.2% (95% CI, 16.8-19.6). HCV antibody prevalence was higher in the husbands (23.7%) than the wives (12.1%; P < 0.001). Having a spouse who was infected with HCV was an independent risk factor for HCV infection with odds ratios of 2.1 (95% CI, 1.6-2.9) and 2.2 (95% CI, 1.6-3.1) for women and men, respectively. Husbands whose wives had experienced female genital cutting (FGC) had a higher prevalence of HCV and this relationship was driven by a strong association in urban areas. Amongst the women there was no association between FGC and HCV overall but in urban areas only women who had experienced FGC were HCV infected. Conclusions. This study provides additional evidence of the importance of intrafamilial transmission of HCV in Egypt.
"The high prevalence in the southern region could be related to its proximity to sub-Saharan countries and the hosting of many African immigrants. Likewise, the eastern region of Albatnan borders Egypt, which has the highest prevalence rate of HCV in the world [40,41], and from where many workers, both legitimate and illegal, come to Libya. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Libya is one of the largest countries in Africa and has the longest coast in the Mediterranean basin facing southern Europe. High rates of prevalence of viral hepatitis have been observed in various regions in Africa, but the prevalence in Libya is not well documented. We report on a large-scale nationwide study that evaluated the epidemiology of hepatitis B and hepatitis C in Libya and assessed the risk factors involved.
A cross-sectional study was carried out in 2008 on 65,761 individuals all over Libya. The country was divided into 12 regions according to the population density and sampling within each region was carried out under the supervision of the National Centre for Prevention of Infectious Diseases. Serum samples were collected from both males and females of all ages in both urban and rural areas and tested for HBsAg for hepatitis B and anti-HCV antibody for hepatitis C. Prevalence rates were determined in regions and in different groups and correlated with different demographic and risk factors involved in the spread of these viruses.
The prevalence of hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses varied regionally across the country. The overall prevalence of hepatitis B was 2.2% (95% CI 2.1%-2.3%) and was higher among males than females (1.4:1.0). Hepatitis C virus (HCV) prevalence was 1.2% (95% CI 1.1-1.3) and it increased gradually after the age of 30 years (0.7-0.9% for < 30 years; 3.6% for >= 60 years). Prevalence of HBsAg was 0.8-0.9% below the age of 10 years, and higher but similar in older age groups (2.3-2.7%). There was an association between literacy and prevalence of hepatitis, particularly for HCV. Hospital admission, surgical operation, blood transfusion, and intravenous drug use were the main risk factors, and they were associated independently with a higher prevalence rate of viral hepatitis.
Libya may be considered an area of low-intermediate endemicity for hepatitis B virus infection, with lower rates in young age groups, and an area of low endemicity for hepatitis C. The prevalence of hepatitis B and C across Libya is not homogeneous, with indications of the effect of the higher rates in some neighbouring countries. Libya should adopt full coverage national plans and guidelines to face the future consequences of viral hepatitis, particularly hepatitis C virus.
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