Basic Study
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2016. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Virol. Feb 12, 2016; 5(1): 14-22
Published online Feb 12, 2016. doi: 10.5501/wjv.v5.i1.14
Modelling the prevalence of hepatitis C virus amongst blood donors in Libya: An investigation of providing a preventive strategy
Mohamed A Daw, Amira Shabash, Abdallah El-Bouzedi, Aghnya A Dau, Moktar Habas, Libyan Study Group of Hepatitis and HIV
Mohamed A Daw, Acting Physician of Internal Medicine, Scientific Coordinator of Libyan National Surveillance Studies of Viral hepatitis and HIV, Tripoli 82668, Libya
Mohamed A Daw, Amira Shabash, Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Tripoli 82668, Libya
Abdallah El-Bouzedi, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of Biotechnology, Tripoli 82668, Libya
Author contributions: Daw MA designed the study, extracted the data, and drafted and finalized the manuscript; Shabash A and El-Bouzedi A collected the data and contributed to the drafting of the manuscript; Dau AA drafted, analyzed, and corrected the manuscript; Habas M collected the data and reviewed the clinical status of all patients; all authors read and approved the final manuscript.
Institutional review board statement: The study was reviewed by the board of Faculty of Medicine Tripoli Libya and found that the utilization and analysis of microbial epidemiological data did not require oversight by Libyan National Ethics committee. Hence no ethical approval was needed for this study.
Institutional animal care and use committee statement: We declare that no animals or human volunteers were used in the study.
Conflict-of-interest statement: All authors declare that there is no potential conflict of interests regarding this article.
Data sharing statement: All data will be made freely available via the corresponding author ( There are no security or licensing matters related to the study.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed byexternal reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Correspondence to: Mohamed A Daw, FTCDA, MD, MPS, PhD, Professor of Clinical Microbiology and Microbial Epidemiology, Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Alfrnaj Road, Tripoli 82668, Libya.
Telephone: +218-91-2144972 Fax: +218-21-3366218
Received: May 11, 2015
Peer-review started: May 18, 2015
First decision: July 26, 2015
Revised: August 24, 2015
Accepted: September 16, 2015
Article in press: September 18, 2015
Published online: February 12, 2016

AIM: To determine hepatitis C virus (HCV) seroprevalence among the Libyan population using blood donors and applying the autoregressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) model to predict future trends and formulate plans to minimize the burden of HCV infection.

METHODS: HCV positive cases were collected from 1008214 healthy blood donors over a 6-year period from 2008 to 2013. Data were used to construct the ARIMA model to forecast HCV seroprevalence among blood donors. The validity of the model was assessed using the mean absolute percentage error between the observed and fitted seroprevalence. The fitted ARIMA model was used to forecast the incidence of HCV beyond the observed period for the year 2014 and further to 2055.

RESULTS: The overall prevalence of HCV among blood donors was 1.8%, varying over the study period from 1.7% to 2.5%, though no significant variation was found within each calendar year. The ARIMA model showed a non-significant auto-correlation of the residuals, and the prevalence was steady within the last 3 years as expressed by the goodness-of-fit test. The forecast incidence showed an increase in HCV seropositivity in 2014, ranging from 500 to 700 per 10000 population, with an overall prevalence of 2.3%-2.7%. This may be extended to 2055 with minimal periodical variation within each 6-year period.

CONCLUSION: The applied model was found to be valuable in evaluating the seroprevalence of HCV among blood donors, and highlighted the growing burden of such infection on the Libyan health care system. The model may help in formulating national policies to prevent increases in HCV infection and plan future strategies that target the consequences of the infection.

Keywords: Autoregressive integrated moving average model, Libya, Hepatitis C virus, Blood donors

Core tip: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has major consequences and an overwhelming impact particularly among developing countries, hence prediction of its prevalence is important for future planning to mitigate its impact. This is an innovative study highlighting the importance of using a modified mathematical model to forecast and predict the future prevalence and consequence of HCV infection using data collected from blood donors. The results will allow strategists in health care services to plan immediate and long-term policies.