Hepatitis C virus infection at Sharkia Governorate, Egypt: seroprevalence and associated risk factors

J Egypt Soc Parasitol. 2004 Apr;34(1 Suppl):367-84.


Because many persons with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection are asymptomatic, population based serologic studies are needed to estimate the prevalence of infection and to develop and evaluate prevention efforts. A sample of 1422 individuals was included in the study by using multistage sampling technique. Their age ranged from 4-78 years with a mean age (34.7 +/- 18.5), 782 were males (55%) and 640 were females (45%). Exposures and demographic characteristics were obtained through a predesigned questionnaire. Antibody to HCV was assessed using micro-particle enzyme immunoassay (MEIA) enzyme assay by IMX, and the HCV RNA was tested by Real-time PCR technique using ABI Prism 7700 system. The seroprevalence of antibodies to HCV were 23.4% and 27.4% in urban and rural areas respectively, with an overall prevalence (25.8%). This reflects prior HCV infection but not necessarily a current liver disease. Prevalence was higher among males than females and increased sharply with age, from 4.8% in those < 20 years old to (41.9%) in older ages (> or = 40 years). Those who were not educated and farmers had a significantly high prevalence. The significant predictors of HCV infection were previous parenteral therapy for schistosomiasis (OR = 4.3, 95% CI = 3.6-7.9), among those over 20 years of age (3.5, 2.18-5.8), blood transfusion (4.1, 2.4-6.9), invasive procedures (surgery and endoscopy), and use of contaminated syringes and needles. Also, shaving at community barbers added significance to the model. Exposures not significantly related to HCV seropositivity were gender, active infection with Schistosoma mansoni, sutures or intravenous and urinary catheterization, water pipe "goza" smoking in group.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Egypt / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Hepacivirus / genetics
  • Hepacivirus / immunology*
  • Hepatitis C / epidemiology*
  • Hepatitis C Antibodies / blood*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • RNA, Viral / analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors


  • Hepatitis C Antibodies
  • RNA, Viral