Published online Sep 14, 2010. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v16.i34.4321
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.