Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection afflicts more than 170 million people worldwide, with the great majority of patients having acute hepatitis C later developing into chronic HCV infection. 320 participants (80 in each of four blood banks from Wudil, Gaya, Sumaila and Takai Local Government Areas (LGA)) were tested for antibodies to HCV. Out of a total of the 320 subjects, 319 were males and 1 female between the ages of 14 to 54 years. Third-generation enzyme–linked immunosorbent assay was used in the analysis. 16 out of the 320 were reactive, representing 5.0% of the total population studied. This showed a high prevalence of HCV infection among blood donors in this part of the country when compared with those established for western countries. Prevalence rate based on the 80 subjects in each LGA indicated Gaya and Wudil to have highest prevalence of 5(6.3%) each, followed by Sumaila with 4(5.0%). Takai was observed to have the least prevalence rate of 2(2.5%). The relationship between the demographic data with HCV infection revealed no statistical significance (P > 0.05). However, the relationship between possible risk factors and HCV infection revealed significant statistical association in the transmission through family (vertical transmission), receipt of injection as well as consumption of alcohol. Other possible risk factors such as blood transfusion did not reveal statistical association even though there were differences in positivity across the risk factors.
Key words: Seroprevalence, Hepatitis C virus, Blood Banks, Kano.
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