Prevalence and genotypes of hepatitis C virus among injecting drug users from Salvador-BA, Brazil|
Silva, Maria Betânia S.; Andrade, Tarcísio M.; Silva, Luciano K.; Rodart, Itatiana F.; Lopes, Gisele B.; Carmo, Theomira M.A.; Zarife, Maria Alice S.; Dourado, Inês & Reis, Mitermayer G.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is the major infectious disease agent among injecting drug users (IDUs), with seroprevalence ranging from 50-90%.
In this paper, serological and virological parameters were investigated among 194 IDUs, 94 ex-IDUs and 95 non-IDUs that were sampled by the
“snowball” technique in three localities renowned for both intense drug use and trafficking activities in Salvador, Brazil. The majority of
the participants were male, but sex and mean age differed significantly between IDUs/ex-IDUs and non-IDUs (p < 0.05). Anti-HCV screening
revealed that 35.6%, 29.8% and 5.3% of samples from IDUs, ex-IDUs and non-IDUs, respectively, were seropositive. HCV-RNA detection confirmed
that the prevalence of infection was 29.4%, 21.3% and 5.3% for IDUs, ex-IDUs and non-IDUs, respectively. Genotyping analysis among
IDUs/ex-IDUs determined that 76.9% were infected with genotype 1, 18.5% with genotype 3 and 4.6% with a mixed genotype; this result differed
significantly from non-IDUs, where genotype 3 was the most frequent (60%), followed by genotype 1 (20%) and a mixed genotype (20%). We report
a significantly higher prevalence of HCV infection in IDUs/ex-IDUs compared to the control group (p < 0.001). Although the sample size
of our study was small, the differences in HCV genotype distribution reported herein for IDUs/ex-IDUs and non-IDUs warrant further investigation.
HCV, injecting drug users, HCV genotypes, prevalence, Brazil