Background: Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) has become the leading cause of cirrhosis and liver cancer worldwide. Occult Hepatitis C Infection (OCI) is a silent form of Hepatitis C Virus infection, making it difficult to diagnose. The detection of the OCI makes it possible to avoid eventual HCV reactivation. Some studies have described the immunological factors, and others the biochemical factors associated with Occult Hepatitis C Infection. However, no scientific publication describes the results of the combination of the two factors.
Aim: This study aimed at combined the immunological and biochemical features, to investigating occult hepatitis C infection in People Living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (PLHIV).
Study design: A cross-sectional and analytical study was conducted at YaoundÃ© Central Hospital (Cameroon), from September 2017 to March 2018. The data obtained were analyzed using the Kruskal-Wallis test with p â‰¤ 0.05.
Results: Serologic test results revealed that, of the 267 HIV+ patients tested, 21 were infected with Hepatitis C Virus, giving the HIV / HCV co-infection seroprevalence of 7.9% (IC95%= 4.93%-11.77%). We have observed a significant rise of Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP) (P = 0.002) and Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST) (P=0.01) activity in HIV/HCV co-infected groups. Besides, Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT) activity was significantly elevated (P=0.01) in HCV mono-infected groups. Serologic and biochemical features of occult hepatitis C infection was found in 8 (66.7%) HIV mono-infected patients, 2 (8.3%) HCV mono-infected, 1 (8.3%) HIV / HCV co-infected and 1 (25%) healthy individuals.
Conclusion: Knowledge and research of Occult Hepatitis C Infection features are necessary to guide the diagnosis towards the detection of HCV RNA in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cell (PBMCs).
Keywords: Occult Hepatitis C Infection, Liver enzyme, Seroprevalence, Co-infection