PERCUTANEOUS ROUTE AS A RISK FACTOR FOR SEROPOSITIVITY OF HEPATITIS C VIRUS INFECTION
Journal of Evolution of Medical and Dental Sciences
BACKGROUND: Hepatitis C seropositivity is a chronic infection in India which remains silent in the blood over the years and can pose a threat to public health. Paucity of the data on the part of patient during pre-donation questioning about various risk factors is likely to have an impact on safe blood transfusion programme. AIM: The objective of this study was to identify percutaneous route as a risk factor associated with HCV infection in volunteer blood donors in Amritsar Punjab. MATERIAL
... HODS: The present study was done on 5000 healthy blood donors comprising 3261 replacement and 1739 voluntary donors in Amritsar to know Hepatitis C virus seropositivity in the region and compare it in relation to various etiologic factors. All blood samples were tested for anti-HCV antibody by 3 rd generation ELISA. Results of study were analyzed statistically. RESULTS: Overall HCV seropositivity amongst 5000 donors was 0.98% which was significantly lower in voluntary than replacement donors (0.23 vs.1.37%). Maximum HCV seropositivity was seen in 30-39 years group in both voluntary and replacement donors. Rural blood donors had higher seropositivity than urban. The most prevalent risk factor was injection (I.V.) drug use present in 14/49 (28.57%) cases. The second most common route was tattooing which was present in a total of 12/49 anti HCV positive cases and in 6 out of these cases (i.e. 12.24% of total) no other history could be elicited than tattooing. Another important route was sharing of shaving kits or visit to roadside barber which solely was present in 5/49 (10.2%) cases. CONCLUSION: Percutaneous route with tattooing, sharing shaving kits or roadside barber visit is the important risk factor to consider for the transmission of Hepatitis C infection besides injection drug use.