Brief Article
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World J Gastroenterol. Sep 14, 2010; 16(34): 4321-4328
Published online Sep 14, 2010. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v16.i34.4321
HCV genotype distribution and possible transmission risks in Lahore, Pakistan
Waqar Ahmad, Bushra Ijaz, Fouzia Tahir Javed, Shah Jahan, Imran Shahid, Fawad Mumtaz Khan, Sajida Hassan
Waqar Ahmad, Bushra Ijaz, Shah Jahan, Imran Shahid, Sajida Hassan, Applied and Functional Genomics Lab, Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology, University of the Punjab, Lahore 53700, Pakistan
Fouzia Tahir Javed, Department of Pathology, Jinnah Hospital, Lahore 54590, Pakistan
Fawad Mumtaz Khan, Plastic Surgery Department, Mayo Hospital, Lahore 54000, Pakistan
Author contributions: Ahmad W, Ijaz B and Javed FT contributed equally to this study; Ahmad W, Ijaz B and Hassan S designed the study, analyzed the data and wrote the paper; Ahmad W, Ijaz B, Javed FT, Jahan S, Shahid I and Khan FM collected the data and performed the experimental work; all the work was performed under supervision of Hassan S.
Supported by Prime Minister Program for Prevention and Control of Hepatitis in Pakistan (2005-2010) and Grant # 863 by Higher Education Commission
Correspondence to: Dr. Sajida Hassan, Foreign Faculty Professor, Applied and Functional Genomics Lab, Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology, University of the Punjab, 87-West Canal Road, Lahore 53700, Pakistan.
Telephone: +92-42-35293141 Fax: +92-42-35293147
Received: February 9, 2010
Revised: April 8, 2010
Accepted: April 15, 2010
Published online: September 14, 2010

AIM: To investigate the prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes and their association with possible transmission routes in the general population of Lahore, as the data exclusively related to this city is limited.

METHODS: Complete data regarding patient’s history, possible route of infection and biochemical tests was collected from the public hospital for 1364 patients. SPSS version 16 windows software was used for data analysis by univariate and multivariate techniques.

RESULTS: Age range ≤ 40 years showed high prevalence of HCV infection. HCV genotype 3a was dominant (55.9%), followed by 1a (23.6%), 4a (12.5%), 3b (3.2%), untypable (2.5%), 4b (1.2%) and mixed type (1.2%). Blood transfusion, dental surgery and barber shops were the main risk factors for HCV transmission. Genotype prevalence was independent of age (P = 0.971) and gender (P = 0.122) while risk factors showed a significant association with age (P = 0.000) and genotypes (P = 0.000). We observed an independent association of risk factors and genotype 3a, while patients with genotype 1 and 4 were mostly infected due to dental surgery blood transfusion and barber shops. Risk factors of intravenous drug use and sexual exposure were exclusively found in ≤ 40 years age group.

CONCLUSION: An increase in genotypes 1a and 4a suggest migration of people, possibly from Balochistan and the northern war-zone area. Government should focus on public education regarding infection routes.

Keywords: Hepatitis C virus, Prevalence, Genotypes, Risk factors, Lahore