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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 48-53

Seroprevalence of hepatitis C infection in patients undergoing haemodialysis in a tertiary care centre

1 Department of Microbiology, Government Medical College, Kozhikode, Kerala, India
2 Consultant Microbiologist, DDRC SRL Diagnostics, Kollam, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Anjali Nair Vinayakumar
Flat B1, Twin Tower Castle, Bhavana Nagar, Kadappakkada, Kollam - 691 008, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jpsic.jpsic_23_20

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Introduction: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major health problem among these patients in developing countries like India. This could be either due to a non-adherence to strict infection control measures or the unavailability of vaccine to prevent HCV infection. Objectives of the Study: This study aims to estimate the prevalence of HCV infection in patients undergoing haemodialysis and assess the major risk factors, the efficacy of infection control measures in the dialysis unit by studying the seroconversion rates from HCV negative to HCV positive and also formulate ways to prevent the nosocomial spread of HCV infection in the dialysis unit. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study carried out among 250 patients undergoing haemodialysis in the dialysis unit of a tertiary care centre. They were tested for the presence of anti-HCV antibody by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. Results: The seroprevalence of HCV infection among the patients undergoing haemodialysis as per this study is 4.8%. The risk factors identified were age >50, prolonged duration of dialysis and multiple blood transfusions. One significant observation was of the probability of lateral spread of HCV infection within the dialysis unit. Conclusions: Although there is no consensus regarding machine dedication between HCV non-infected and HCV-infected patients, we found that using dedicated HD machines had an important role in reducing HCV transmission in our dialysis unit. However, risk prevails if any seronegative patient acts as HCV carrier.

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