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ARTICLE
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 40-43

Seroprevalence of hepatitis C virus antibody in public servants of Enugu State of Nigeria


Gastroenterology Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku / Ozalla, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
S C Nwokediuko
Gastroenterology Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Ituku / Ozalla PMB 01129 Enugu
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Background/Objective: Chronic hepatitis B or C affects one out of every twelve persons globally. As part of the global campaign against hepatitis, the authors seized the opportunity of the 2010 World Hepatitis Day to undertake a Hepatitis C screening exercise for civil servants of Enugu State of Nigeria. Method: Civil servants of Enugu State attached to the Government House, Enugu were screened for anti-HCV antibody using a third generation enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Risk factors for Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection were also determined using a structured questionnaire. Results: Four hundred and one (401) civil servants were screened during the exercise (211 males or 52.6% and 190 females or 47.6%). Seven (7) of them were anti-HCV seropositive (1.75%). Among the putative risk factors for HCV infection, none was significantly more frequent in the anti-HCV seropositive subjects compared to their anti-HCV seronegative counterparts. Conclusion: The sero-prevalence of anti-HCV antibody in civil servants of Enugu State of Nigeria is 1.75%. Seropositive subjects had a higher frequency of past history of jaundice. There is an urgent need to intensify preventive measures to ensure that the sero-prevalence remains low or even lower in the community in order not to add to the burden of Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infection.


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