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      Hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus in pregnant Sudanese women

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          The epidemiology of viral hepatitis during pregnancy is essential for health planners and programme managers. While much data exist concerning viral hepatitis during pregnancy in many African countries, no proper published data are available in Sudan.


          The study aimed to investigate the sero-prevalance and the possible risk factors for hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) among antenatal care attendants in central Sudan.


          During 3 months from March–June 2006, sera were collected from pregnant women at Umdurman Maternity Hospital in Sudan, and they were tested for markers of hepatitis B virus (HBVsAg) and HCV.


          HBVsAg was detected in 41 (5.6%) out 728 women, Anti-HCV was detected in 3 (0.6%) out of 423 women, all of them were not aware of their condition. Age, parity, gestational age, residence, history of blood transfusion, dental manipulations, tattooing and circumcision did not contribute significantly to increased HBVsAg sero-positivity.


          Thus 5.6% of pregnant women were positive for HBVsAg irrespective of their age, parity and socio-demographic characteristics. There was low prevalence of Anti-HCV.

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          Most cited references 19

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          Global surveillance and control of hepatitis C. Report of a WHO Consultation organized in collaboration with the Viral Hepatitis Prevention Board, Antwerp, Belgium.

          Hepatitis C is a global health problem caused by infection with the hepatitis C virus. Although representative prevalence data are not available from many countries, available data indicate that approximately 3% of the world's population is infected with HCV. It is estimated that as many as 170 million persons world-wide may be infected with HCV. In many countries, the exact magnitude of the problem and the relative contribution of the various routes of transmission have not been defined with population-based studies. Wherever possible such studies should be performed to enable countries to estimate the burden of hepatitis C disease, to prioritize their preventative measures and to make the most appropriate use of available resources. To assess hepatitis C on a global scale, the World Health Organization (WHO) organized a consultation of international experts, in order to review the public health aspects related to hepatitis C infection and to make recommendations for its prevention and control.
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            Epidemiology of chronic hepatitis C virus infection in sub-Saharan Africa.

            Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of chronic liver disease in the world. The WHO estimates that 3% (170 million) of the world's population are chronically infected with HCV. Sub-Saharan Africa is of great interest because it is reported to have the highest HCV prevalence rate (5.3%), and a concurrent HIV epidemic. In our review of the published literature we found consistent evidence of high HCV prevalence in many countries of Africa. We estimate the overall prevalence of HCV in Sub-Saharan Africa is 3.0%. The central African region has the highest estimated prevalence of 6%, west Africa has an estimated prevalence of 2.4%, and southern and east Africa with the lowest estimated prevalence of 1.6%. Given low sexual transmission of HCV and infrequency of intravenous drug use in Sub-Saharan Africa, iatrogenic causes of HCV transmission need to be further evaluated.
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              Hepatitis C: an epidemiological review.

               M. Memon,  M A Memon (2002)
              The aim of the study was to analyse the current literature regarding the mode of transmission of HCV and its global prevalence in different groups of people. A systematic review of the literature on the epidemiology of hepatitis C from 1991 to 2000 using computerized bibliographic databases which include Medline, Current Content and Embase. The prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) varies tremendously in different parts of the world, with the highest incidence in the Eastern parts of the globe compared with the Western parts. Furthermore, certain groups of individuals such as intravenous drug users are at increased risk of acquiring this disease irrespective of the geographical location. Although the main route of transmission is via contaminated blood, curiously enough in up to 50% of the cases no recognizable transmission factor/route could be identified. Therefore, a number of other routes of transmission such as sexual or household exposure to infected contacts have been investigated with conflicting results. Hepatitis C infection is an important public health issue globally. Better understanding of routes of transmission will help to combat the spread of disease. In order to prevent a world wide epidemic of this disease, urgent measures are required to (i) develop a strategy to inform and educate the public regarding this disease and (ii) expedite the efforts to develop a vaccine.

                Author and article information

                Virol J
                Virology Journal
                BioMed Central
                24 October 2007
                : 4
                : 104
                [1 ]Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan
                [2 ]Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Juba University, Khartoum, Sudan
                Copyright © 2007 Elsheikh et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


                Microbiology & Virology


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