Prevalence and Predominant Genotype of Hepatitis C Virus Infection and Associated Risk Factors among Pregnant Women in Iran

Farshadpour, F and Taherkhani, R and Bakhtiari, F (2021) Prevalence and Predominant Genotype of Hepatitis C Virus Infection and Associated Risk Factors among Pregnant Women in Iran. BioMed Research International, 2021. ISSN 2314-6133

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Objective. Knowledge regarding the prevalence and risk factors of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among pregnant women can give clue to health care providers regarding the appropriate management of HCV infection. Therefore, this study was conducted to determine the prevalence, genotypic pattern, and risk factors of HCV infection among pregnant women in the northern shores of the Persian Gulf, south of Iran. Methods. From January 2018 to June 2019, serum samples were obtained from 1425 pregnant women, ages ranging from 14 to 46 years (28.1±5.99). Serum samples were tested for detection of anti-HCV antibodies using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) (HCV Ab ELISA kit, Dia.Pro, Milan, Italy). Following the extraction of nucleic acid, the molecular evaluation of HCV infection was performed by seminested reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction assay (RT-PCR), targeting the 5′ untranslated region (5′UTR) and core of HCV genome and sequencing. Results. Of the 1425 pregnant women, 19 women (1.33%, 95% CI: 0.85%-2.07%) were positive for anti-HCV antibodies. The majority of HCV-seropositive women were in the third trimester of pregnancy, educated, and had a history of blood transfusion, abortion, surgery, or dentistry. Moreover, Arab and Fars pregnant women and those aged >39 years had the highest rate of HCV seroprevalence. Nevertheless, none of these variables were significantly associated with HCV seropositivity. In contrast, HCV seropositivity was associated with place of residency, so that residents of Khormuj city had significantly higher HCV seroprevalence compared to the residents of other cities (OR: 7.05; 95% CI: 1.75-28.39; P=0.006). According to the molecular evaluation, 9 of the 19 HCV-seropositive pregnant women (47.37%) had HCV viremia with genotype 3a. Conclusion. This study reports the HCV prevalence of 1.33% for anti-HCV antibodies and 0.63% for HCV RNA among pregnant women in the south of Iran. Considering the asymptomatic nature of chronic HCV infection and the fact that vertical transmission is possible in women with detectable viremia, therefore, screening of women before pregnancy is recommended to reduce the risk of HCV infection and its complications during pregnancy.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QW Microbiology and Immunology
Divisions: Faculty of Medicin
Depositing User: خدیجه شبانکاره
Date Deposited: 27 Dec 2021 07:05
Last Modified: 27 Dec 2021 07:05

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