Hepatitis C Sentinel Seroprevalence, Cape Coast, Ghana
Journal of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Objectives: Sentinel studies have targeted prenatal women as they are largely descriptive of the reproductive bracket, and prevalence data may be extended to the general population. This study determined the seroprevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic at the Cape Coast Metropolitan Hospital. Methods: Whole blood samples were collected from 258 pregnant women aged between 15-45 years, from September 1st through December 31st, 2018.
... 1st, 2018. Separated plasma was stored and later screened for HCV antibodies. Results: Out of the total, 2.7% (7/258) tested seropositive for HCV antibodies. The 20 -29 years age group recorded the highest prevalence of 1.6% (4/258, χ 2 = 4.260, p = 0.513). According to the 2018 HIV Sentinel Surveillance report, the prevalence of HIV infection in the Cape Coast Metropolitan Area was 3.4% (17/500). Also, the prevalence of HIV among the 20-29 years age group was 1.8% (9/500). The 15-24 years, proxy group for new infections recorded 0.8% (2/258) for HCV and 0.2% (1/500) for HIV infection. Conclusions: The seroprevalence determined in this study is classified 'intermediate,' according to the WHO guidelines for the care and treatment of persons diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C virus infection. The WHO currently does not recommend routine HCV testing for pregnant women; however, this study highlights the need for urgent public health interventions aimed at reducing the infection rate. J Microbiol Infect Dis 2020; 10(1):52-55.