Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an etiological agent responsible for occurrence of post-transfusion hepatitis in thalassemic patients. This study identified hepatitis C genotypes in pediatric and adolescent thalassemic patients and their correlation with age, blood transfusion, HCV RNA viral titer and liver function.
This study considers cross-sectional data from the Center for Thalassemia in Zahedan (Iran) carried out between August 2005 and September 2007. Twenty multitransfused patients suffering from β-thalassemia major and chronic HCV infection (13 males, 7 females) were included in the study. Patients were considered eligible for the study if they were seropositive for HCV RNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) before initiation of evaluation. Blood sample was taken for HCV genotype and viral titer as well as biochemical markers. Type specific primer and real-time RT-PCR HCV were used for determination of viral genotype and HCV-RNA titer.
There was a significant positive correlation between serum HCV RNA titer and genotypes (P<0001). Serum HCV RNA levels were found higher in genotype 3a than in others. The most prevalent genotype in thalassemic patients was genotype 3a (40%) followed by 1b (25%), unclassified (20%) and la (15%). There was no meaningful relationship between genotype, Alanine aminotranferease, ferritin and alkaline phosphatase. Age, serum HCV RNA titer and number of transfusions were the only significant factors associated with genotypes (P<015, P<0.0001 and P<0.001 respectively).
This study showed that HCV genotype and viral titer are related to the number of blood transfusions received by thalassemic patients. Screening donated blood in blood banks would prevent the occurrence of hepatitis C in this high-risk group.
Hepatitis C; Virus Titer; Viral Load; Liver Function Tests; Thalassemia; Iran
Hepatitis C is prevalent among thalassemia patients in Iran. It is mainly transfusion mediated, in particular among patients treated before 1996 when blood screening was introduced.
The current study aimed to investigate why patients still seroconvert to anti-HCV in Iranian thalassemia centers.
Patients and Methods
During 2006-2007 sera were sampled from 217 anti-HCV positive thalassemia patients at nine thalassemia centers in Tehran and Amol city, where 34 (16%) patients had been infected after 1996. The HCV subtype could be determined by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of partial NS5B and/or 5׳NCR-core region in 130 strains.
1a (53%) was predominant followed by 3a (30%), 1b (15%), and one strain each of 2k, 3k and 4a. Phylogenetic analysis revealed 19 clades with up to five strains diverging with less than six nucleotides from each other within subtypes 1a and 3a. Strains in seven clades were from nine patients infected between 1999 and 2005 and similar to strains from eight patients infected before 1996, indicating ongoing transmission at the centers. Further epidemiological investigation revealed that 28 patients infected with strains within the same clade had frequently been transfused at the same shift sitting on the same bed. An additional eight patients with related strains had frequently been transfused simultaneously in the same room.
The results suggest nosocomial transmission at these thalassemia centers both before and after the introduction of blood screening. Further training of staff and strict adherence to preventive measures are thus essential to reduce the incidence of new HCV infections.
Hepatitis C; Thalassemia; Iran
Patients with Hepatitis C Virus infection are at high risk of getting hepatitis A virus. Hepatitis A virus is an important widespread virus that usually causes more severe medical consequences in patients with chronic liver disease. The purpose of this study was to evaluate prevalence of Hepatitis A Virus antibody in patients with chronic HCV in Isfahan province, Iran.
A cross-sectional study was carried out on 117 patients with chronic hepatitis C virus from spring 2010 to spring 2011. Subject's characteristics such as age, gender, education, genotype of HCV infection and history of intravenous drug use were collected by questionnaire and studied. Statistical analysis was done by SPSS software (version 19.0. 2010, SPSS) using Chi-square test, Fisher Exact tests and Cochran-Armitage trend test.
The mean age of the subjects was 33.18 ± 10.97 years. The seroprevalence of HAV was 94.9% in patients with chronic HCV. The prevalence of anti-HAV increased nearly as age increased. But, there was no statistically significant difference in HAV positive rate according to the age groups (P = 0.242) and other patient's characteristics.
According to the high HAV immunity in our study and less severe form of HAV infection, vaccination was not required in these patients. However, hepatitis A vaccination program should be performed in HAV seronegative patients with HCV to produce an adequate immune response.
Chronic liver diseases; Hepatitis A virus; Hepatitis C virus
In Iran, there is limited evidence on the prevalence of hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV and HCV) among females who engage in illegal sexual behavior.
To determine the prevalence of HBV and HCV infections and their associated factors in this population in Isfahan-Iran.
Patients and Methods
In this cross-sectional study, 100 females who engaged in illegal sexual behavior during 2009-2010 in Isfahan were recruited from welfare to the DIC for women, and referrals were made among those who knew others who engaged in prostitution. Markers for HBV and HCV-Ab were measured by ELISA, and recombinant immunoblot assay was used for confirmation of HCV infection. Also, a questionnaire on demographics and prostitution-associated risk data in a face-to-face interview was completed for each participant. Chi-square and multivariate logistic regression models were used for data analysis.
Of the 100 samples collected, 91 were sufficient for testing. The mean age and time spent in sex work were 30.84 ± 9.34 years and 36 ± 28.5 months, respectively. HBsAg was detected in 1 (1.1%), anti-HBc in 4 (4.4%), anti-HBs in 60 (65.9%), and HCV Ab in 9 (9.9%) subjects. The evidence of vaccination was seen in 54 subjects (59.3%). There were no significant differences in the prevalence of HBV or HCV infection by estimated risk factors, and there was no independent risk factor for these infections.
The high prevalence of HCV infection in this study indicates the need to implement preventive interventions for female sex workers and, perhaps more importantly, to involve their male clients.
Women; Social behavior; Hepatitis B; Hepatitis C; Iran
Transfusion-transmitted hepatitis is the most important cause of transmitted infections by the parenteral route in patients with haemophilia.
This study was performed to determine the prevalence of HBV, HCV, and different genotypes of HCV among haemophilia patients in Ahvaz city, southwest Iran.
Patients and Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted on 87 haemophilia patients referred to the Hemoglobinopathy and Thalassemia research centre during February 2008 to March 2009. Patients, sera were tested for HBsAg and anti-HCV using ELISA and confirmed by PCR (HBV) and RT-PCR (HCV). HCV genotypes were determined with HCV genotype specific primers using HCV genotyping kit.
The overall prevalence rate of HBsAg and anti-HCV were 1.1% (95% CI: 0-3.39) and 54% (95% CI: 43.5-64.4), respectively. Forty two of the anti-HCV patients (89.3%) were also HCV RNA positive. The prevalence of anti-HCV seropositivity was significantly higher (P = 0.0008) among patients who had started to receive transfusions before implementation of blood donor screening. Moreover, the number of transfusion were significantly associated with anti-HCV and HCV RNA positivity (P = 0.0041 and P = 0.023, respectively). The predominant HCV genotype among haemophilia patients in our region was 1a (26/42, 61.9%), although genotypes 1b and 3a were found in 26.1% (11/42) and 11.9% (5/42) of the patients, respectively.
It appears stringent donor selection procedures reduced HCV infection in multi-transfused patients, but it is still serious risk for these subjects.
Hepatitis B; Hepatitis C; Prevalence; Genotype; Haemophilia A
Juveniles in custody are affected by blood borne viruses due to high rates of risk behaviors. Therefore, they have a disproportionate burden of infectious diseases, such as hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The purpose of the present study was to determine prevalence and associated characteristics of hepatitis C infection in inmates of a correctional center in Isfahan, Iran.
We conducted a cross-sectional study of HCV infection in 160 youths, who were admitted to correctional center in Isfahan during 2008-2009. Subjects were asked questions regarding behaviors that might put them at high risk for acquiring HCV and blood was drawn for this test. Sera were analyzed for HCV Ab and RIBA test was performed on antibody-positive HCV. We used Chi-square test and logistic regression model to analyze data and P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
A total of 160 young prisoners (147 boys and 13 girls) were studied. The mean age of the inmates was 16.59 ± 1.24 year. A history of intravenous drug addiction was reported in 3.8% of them. HCV infection was detected in 7 (4.4%) subjects. This study revealed that history of IDU was the main risk factor for HCV (OR, 134.44; 95% confidence interval [CI], 7.29-2481.03).
To prevent HCV transmission, proper drug prevention educations should be performed in young age prisoners.
Correctional center; HCV; Isfahan
Increased hepatic iron is assumed to potentiate progression towards liver fibrosis in chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. In this study we have evaluated the potentiating effect of marked hepatic iron overload and chronic HCV infection on hepatic fibrosis in thalassemic patients.
Liver biopsies of one group of patients with beta thalassemia major and chronic HCV infection (group 1) was compared with two groups of patients (groups 2&3) with either chronic HCV infection or thalassemia major, respectively (20 patients in each group). Necroinflammation, fibrosis, and iron overload were graded and compared.
Stage of fibrosis in group 1 patients was significantly higher than the other two groups (p < 0.05). Necroinflammatory grade was significantly lower, but iron score was significantly higher in thalassemic patients (group 3) in comparison to groups 1 and 2 (p < 0.05).
Our results indicate that marked liver iron overload and HCV infection in thalassemic patients have potentiating effect on hepatic fibrogenesis.
Background and Aims
Patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are also likely to be at risk for other infectious pathogens including hepatitis B(HBV) and C(HCV) viruses, which complicate the clinical course, management, and therapy. The literature on the prevalence of HBV/HCV coinfection with HIV in Iran is sparse. Hence this study was conducted to investigate this coinfection pattern and its risk factors in Isfahan, Iran.
All of the HIV-infected patients attending clinics for acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) research and education in Isfahan province during the period of May 1998 through April 2007 were included in this cross-sectional study. After giving their informed consent, the patients were screened for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and antibodies to hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV), and anti-HCV-positive cases were confirmed with the RIBA test. The demographic data and information about risk behaviors were collected as well. Multivariate logistic regression was used to identify independent risk factors for HBV and HCV.
The subjects included 130 patients (128 males and 2 females) with a mean age of 50.23 ± 8.81 years. Most of the subjects were unemployed (61.5%) and single (56.2%). A history of imprisonment, ,intravenous drug abuse, and high-risk sexual activity were reported by 83.7%, 83.5%, and 48% of the subjects, respectively. Coinfection with hepatitis viruses was observed in 78.5% of the subjects. Low levels of education, a history of imprisonment, and youth were the main risk factors for HCV/HIV coinfection (OR = 196, 114, and 0.9 respectively).
Our study showed that there is a high prevalence rate of HCV/HIV coinfection in Isfahan, Iran, with the major risk factor being a history of imprisonment.
HBV; HCV; HIV; Coinfection; Iran
Beta thalassemia major patients are vulnerable to transfusion-transmitted infection, especially hepatitis C virus (HCV), and iron overload. These comorbidities lead to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma in these patients. In order to prevent these complications, treatment of HCV infection and regular iron chelating seems to be necessary. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of hepatic iron concentration (HIC) and viral factors on the sustained virological response (SVR) in chronic HCV-infected patients, with beta thalassemia major being treated with interferon and ribavirin.
Materials and methods:
We enrolled 30 patients with thalassemia major and chronic HCV who were referred to the Hematology Clinic of Guilan University of Medical Sciences, between December 2002 and April 2006. HIC was measured by atomic absorption spectroscopy before treatment. The viral factors (viral load, genotype) and HIC were compared between those who achieved a SVR and nonresponders.
Mean age of the 30 thalassemic patients, was 22.56 ± 4.28 years (14–30 years). Most patients were male (56.7%). Genotype 1a was seen in 24 (80%) cases. SVR was achieved in 15 patients (50%). There were no significant correlations between HIC (P = 1.00), viral load (P = 0.414), HCV genotype (P = 0.068), and SVR. No difference was observed in viral load (P = 0.669) and HIC (P = 0.654) between responders and nonresponders.
HIC, HCV viral load, and HCV genotype were not correlated with virological response, and it seems that there is no need to postpone antiviral treatment for more vigorous iron chelating therapy.
hepatitis C virus; hepatic iron concentration; combination therapy; thalassemia major; interferon alfa; ribavirin
Patients with hereditary bleeding disorders are at risk of viral infection such as hepatitis C due to frequent transfusion of blood and blood products. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of hepatitis C and associated risk factors in hemophilic patients in Isfahan, the second big province in Iran.
In a descriptive study, patients with hemophilia in Isfahan province were enrolled. A questionnaire, including demographic and risk factors of hepatitis C was completed through a structured interview with closed questions by a trained interviewer for each patient and HCV-Ab test results were extracted from patient records.
In this study, 232 of 350 patients with hemophilia A and B (66%) were positive for hepatitis C. Based on Multivariate Logistic Regression model, no independent risk factor was found.
Prevalence of hepatitis C in patients with haemophilia A and B in Isfahan is high. Since no independent risk factor for hepatitis C disease was found in this high risk group, it can be concluded that multitransfusion is the only predictor for hepatitis C.
Hemophilia; Hepatitis C; risk factors
Transfusion Transmitted Infection (TTI) continue to be a problem in many parts of world and multi-transfused patients of beta thalassaemia major are at a particularly increased risk of TTI. This study is aimed to estimate the prevalence of blood TTI in multiple blood transfused patients of beta thalassaemia major. Cross-sectional study of 200 multi-transfused patients of beta thalassaemia major, who were interviewed using a structured questionnaire and history was taken regarding sero-status of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), HBV (Hepatitis B Virus), HCV (Hepatitis C Virus) infection from their case papers. This study was conducted at the department of Pathology, M.P. Shah medical college, Jamnagar and Thalassemia ward, G.G. Hospital, Jamnagar (Gujarat, India) from March to May 2010. Out of 200 multiple blood transfused patients 7% patients were infected with TTI. Total 9 male patients and 5 female patients were infected with TTI. The seroreactivity for HIV was 3% (06/200); 1% (02/200) were males and 2% (04/200) were females. The seroreactivity for HBV was 2% (04/200) all were males. The seroreactivity for HCV was 2% (04/200); 1.5% (03/200) were males and 0.5% (01/200) was female. HIV, HBV, HCV infections are most prevalent TTI among multiple blood transfused patients of beta thalassemia major, and remains a major health problem for these patients.
Transfusion transmitted infection; Multiple blood transfused patients of beta thalassemia major; Human immunodeficiency virus; Hepatitis B virus; Hepatitis C virus
Despite progress made in the prevention of transfusion-transmitted infections (TTI) over the last few years, they continue to be a problem in many parts of the world, particularly in multitransfused patients.
The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and to evaluate the screening and vaccination program among our cohort of multitransfused children from Qena, Upper Egypt.
Patients and Methods
One-hundred children suffering from diseases requiring repeated blood transfusions were included in the study. They were classified into group 1, which included 67 children with thalassemia, and group 2, which included 33 children with hemophilia. Screening for hepatitis B surface antigen, hepatitis B surface antibody, hepatitis B core antibody and antibody to HCV was done using a second-generation enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay technique.
Only 12% of all patients were either acutely or chronically infected with HBV. 46% were immune due to previous vaccination, whereas 39% of patients were not protected from HBV infection. HCV antibodies were positive in 45% of cases. Seventy-eight patients had a complete hepatitis B vaccination in the form of three doses as documented by birth certificate. Thirty-six patients mentioned history suggestive of hepatitis. The prevalence of the studied hepatitis markers was similar in both the thalassemia and hemophilia groups of children.
Transfusion-transmitted hepatitis is still a major problem for multitransfused children in Egypt. More effort is required to reduce the infection rate through proper screening of blood and blood products, strict emphasis on receiving the vaccine, regular follow-up for those children with a hepatitis B antibody titer, and providing booster doses for those in need.
Child; Hepatitis; Transfusion; Egypt
Due to blood transfusions, thalassemics are often infected with either hepatitis C virus (HCV) or hepatitis B virus and often have hemochromatosis. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has emerged in thalassemics only recently as a result of the improvement in thalassemia outcomes. In fact, a prospective study estimated an HCC incidence in β-thalassemia of about 2%. Although data are scanty, HCC screening in thalassemics with risk factors for HCC should be carried out. HCV treatments have some efficacy in HCV infected thalassemics despite partial contraindication to ribavirin and iron overload. However, there are no data on how HCV treatment translates into HCC prevention. Preliminary data suggest that HCC treatment in thalassemics should generally have the same outcomes as in non-thalassemics. Although coexistence of severe comorbidities makes liver transplantation challenging, this therapeutic possibility should not be precluded for well selected HCC β-thalassemia patients. In fact, 2 transfusion dependent adult HCC β-thalassemia patients have recently undergone successful liver transplantation with a good outcome. In conclusion, HCC seems to be a developing issue in thalassemia and HCC screening should be carried out. HCC treatment, including liver transplantation, can be performed in selected patients. A multidisciplinary effort is needed for management.
Thalassemia; Hepatocellular carcinoma; Hemochromatosis; Screening; Complication; Liver transplantation
The ideal management of thalassemia involves a multidisciplinary therapeutic team approach and should be preferably done at a comprehensive thalassemia care center with all sorts of specialists and the backup of a well-equipped blood bank. However, in developing country like ours, these facilities are not available in rural set up. So, a situation where conservative therapy with regular blood transfusion is the only choice left to innumerable thalassemic children.
To evaluate the existing conservative management protocol of Beta-thalassemia major patients in the setup of a subdivision level Government Hospital of rural West Bengal, India.
Materials and Methods:
The study was performed between December 2009 and December 2011. Beta-thalassemia major patients, registered in blood bank for moderate transfusion regimen, were taken in study. All the patients were screened for Transfusion Transmittable Infections at the time of registration and thereafter periodically every six months. Iron chelation therapy was given simultaneously with transfusion at a dose of 20 to 40 mg/kg/day for six days. The patients were advised to follow up with chelation therapy at home by daily infusion with a goal of maintaining serum ferritin level below 1000 ng/ml. Over this long period of study, the patients were periodically evaluated for complications.
The average blood requirement (ml/kg/year) in 1-5 years, 6-10 years, and 11-15 years were 110, 150, and 180, respectively. Incidence of Hepatitis C Virus infection in 1-5 years and 6-10 years were 1.75% and 2.08%, respectively. It is well seen that serum ferritin level increase with ascending age as does the blood consumption.
Conservative management may be the best alternative and at times the only hope for patients in developing country like ours. However, in order to decrease the disease load, steps need to be taken to introduce preventive measures.
Beta-thalassemia major; blood transfusion; conservative management; iron chelation; prevention program
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is the most common disease commuted through blood transfusion. Occult hepatitis B infection (OBI) is a form of the disease which does not present Hepatitis B surface antigens (HBsAg) in the serum of patients; however, HBV-DNA is detectable in the serum and hepatocytes of patients. OBI is an important risk factor to induce post transfusion hepatitis (PTH), cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and reactivation of the HBV. Recently, several reports from various regions of the world have been published regarding PTH among blood recipients as well as HCC, and cirrhosis among patients who require permanent blood transfusion, including diseases such as hemophilia, hemodialysis and thalassemia. This form of the hepatitis also creates problems for individuals that are co-infected with other viruses such as HCV and HIV. To determine the prevalence of OBI among hemophilia, hemodialysis and thalassemia patients is important because it is a high risk factor for PTH, HCC and cirrhosis therefore, its detection is a critical strategy for most health care services. This review addresses recent information regarding prevalence of OBI in relation to the mentioned diseases.
The data presented here was collected by searching the key words in Pubmed and Scopous databases.
Our searching in the published papers revealed that OBI prevalence is frequent in patients receiving frequent blood transfusions.
it seems that one of the main mechanisms for OBI transmission is most likely through infected blood and its component and evaluation of the prevalence of OBI in donors and patients, especially those with hemophilia and thalassemia should be foul considered.
Blood Donors; Thalassemia; Hemophilia
Human parvovirus B19 (B19) virus is a newly recognized agent for transfusion transmitted diseases. Beta-thalassemia major patients receive a hypertransfusion regimen, hence, are prone to acquire B19 infection; moreover, B19 escapes viral inactivation methods and donor units are not tested for B19, but there are just a couple of studies globally and none from the Asian continent. Hence, a study was designed to find the frequency of B19 infection and its transmission in multitransfused thalassemia patients.
Materials and Methods:
Ninety multitransfused beta-thalassemia major (thalassemia) patients, 32 controls (age, sex matched) without any history of transfusion were enrolled. Besides the donor units were tested in B19 un-infected patients. B19 specific IgG and IgM antibodies in the sera were analyzed by ELISA (in-house), using B19 VPI and VP2 recombinant and purified antigens; additionally HBsAg and anti-HIV and anti-HCV antibodies were tested for coexisting infections.
Seventy-three (81%) thalassemia patients tested positive for anti-B19 IgG antibodies as compared to seven (21%) in the controls group (P < 0.01), while anti-B19 IgM antibodies were detected in 37 (41.1%) compared to two (6.2%) in the controls (P < 0.01). Mean age of the thalassemia patient was eight years (range 2 – 18 years) and B19 infection was highest in the six-to-ten year range. Seropositivity increased with the number of transfusions. Two of the four HBsAg positive and five of the seven anti-HCV IgM antibody-positive patients also had anti-B19 IgM. After a six-month follow-up, four (25%) of the 16 seronegative patients seroconverted and anti-B19 IgM antibodies were detected in their donor units.
Most of multitransfused thalassemics were B19 seropositive or had anti-B19 IgM; in the remaining uninfected group, B19 got transmitted through infected / IgM-positive donor units.
B19; blood transfusion; parvovirus; seroconversion; thalassemia
AIM: To detect the prevalence of anti-HAV IgG antibodies in adult multitransfused beta-thalassemic patients.
METHODS: We studied 182 adult beta-thalassemic patients and 209 controls matched for age and sex from the same geographic area, at the same time. Anti-HAV IgG antibodies, viral markers of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection were evaluated.
RESULTS: Anti-HAV IgG antibodies were detected more frequently in thalassemic patients (133/182; 73.1%) than in healthy controls (38/209; 18.2%, P < 0.0005). When we retrospectively evaluated the prevalence of anti-HAV IgG antibodies in 176/182 (96.7%) thalassemic patients, whose medical history was available for the previous ten years, it was found that 83 (47.2%) of them were continuously anti-HAV IgG positive, 16 (9.1%) acquired anti-HAV IgG antibody during the previous ten years, 49 (27.8%) presented anti-HAV positivity intermittently and 28 (15.9%) were anti-HAV negative continuously.
CONCLUSION: Multitransfused adult beta-thalassemic patients present higher frequency of anti-HAV IgG antibodies than normal population of the same geographic area. This difference is difficult to explain, but it can be attributed to the higher vulnerability of thalassemics to HAV infection and to passive transfer of anti-HAV antibodies by blood transfusions.
Hepatitis A virus; Anti-HAV antibodies; Beta-thalassemia; Multiple transfusions; Hepatitis C virus
Female prisoners are at risk of acquiring sexually transmitted infections (STIs). There has been no previous study regarding the epidemiological status of STIs among female prisoners in Isfahan, central Iran.
The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence and risk factors of the aforementioned infections among women incarcerated in the central prison, Isfahan, to determine appropriate prevention measures.
Patients and Methods
In a cross-sectional study, all of the 163 women incarcerated in the central prison, Isfahan in 2009, were voluntarily enrolled by the census method. After completing a checklist consisting of demographic, social, and risk factors, a 5ml blood sample was taken from each individual. The sera were analyzed for markers of the hepatitis B virus (HBV; HBsAg, HBsAb, HBcAb), hepatitis C virus (HCV; HCV antibodies), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV; HIV antibodies), and syphilis (RPR). Confirmatory tests were performed on HCV antibody-positive cases.
The mean age of the participants in the study was 34.54 ± 11.2 years old, 94.3% of these women were Iranian, and many of them had only a primary level of education. The prevalence of HBsAg, HBcAb, HBsAb, and HCV antibodies were; 1.2%, 7.4%, 12.9% and 7.4% respectively. No positive RPR or HIV antibodies were detected.
A significant relationship was seen between the HCV antibody, drug injection and illegal sex in the women, and also between HBc-Ab and drug injection. Regular screening, educational programs, and facilitation of access to suitable treatment care should be widely implemented in the prison population. Testing for immunity against HBV should be considered on admission, and afterwards vaccination of all prisoners and an appropriate preventative approach should be applied.
HIV; Hepatitis B Virus; Hepatitis C; Syphilis; Prevalence; Risk Factors
Beta-thalassemia major (β-TM) is a chronic, genetic and hematological disorder. Children and teenagers with chronic physical illnesses exemplified by thalassemia are vulnerable to emotional and behavioral problems. The aim of this study was to evaluate mental health and its related factors among young patients with beta-thalassemia major.
In this cross-sectional observational descriptive-analytic study, we studied 164 patients suffering from Beta-thalassemia major with age range of 15-24 years who referred for treatment to Ali Ebn-e Abitaleb (AS) University Hospital in Zahedan, a city in South East of Iran, during 2009-2010. The demographic data and pattern of mental health were collected by standard general health questionnaire (GHQ-28).Data was analyzed using statistical software SPSS (version 17.0); Student t test and Chi-square (χ2) were used.
In this study, 96 (58.5%) patients were male; the mean age of all patients was 18.78 ±2.28. Based on data analysis, 83 patients (50.8%) suspected to have psychiatric disorders (58.8% of girls, 44.8% of boys). In addition, frequency of somatic symptoms, depression disorder, anxiety disorder and social dysfunction in all patients were 7.3%, 11.6%, 8.5% and 4.3% respectively. In illiterate patients, 70.4% suspected to have psychiatric disorder. Except for somatic disorder, other mental disorders were more frequent in girls. No significant association was found between mental state and gender, marital and literacy status and occupation.
In this study, due to high prevalence of psychological disorders in young patients with Beta-thalassemia major, especially in girls, we suggest implementing further educational psychological programs to decrease the frequency of disorders. Moreover, conducting more quantitative and comprehensive researches is suggested to evaluate specific effective factors in psycho-social health.
Beta-thalassemia; Iran; Mental health
To evaluate the rate of seropositivity to hepatitis B and C and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infections among children with β-thalassemia major receiving multiple transfusions in Ahmedabad, India, compared with healthy controls.
Materials and Methods:
The study was performed during January 2007 to January 2009 on multi-transfused children suffering with β-thalassemia major registered in the Prathama Blood Centre, Ahmedabad; Jeevandeep hospital, Ahmedabad; and Red Cross Blood Centre, Ahmedabad, and investigated for the prevalence and development of transfusion-transmitted infections. Hepatitis B surface Antigen (HBsAg), anti-Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Antibodies (Ab), and HIV Ab were checked using a fourth-generation Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). Positive tests were confirmed by western blots. Healthy blood donors were used for the control group.
Hepatitis B surface antigen, anti-HCV Ab, and HIV Ab were positive in one of 96 (1.04%; 95% Confidence Interval (CI) = 0.17–1.3), 24 of 96 (25%; 95% CI = 11.4–14.2), and one of 96 (1.04%; 95% CI = 0.12–1.3), respectively. The rate of anti-HCV Ab was significantly higher in multi-transfused children suffering with β-thalassemia major. In thalassemia patients, the rate of positive anti-HCV Ab was significantly higher than that for positive HBsAg (P<0.001) and HIV Ab (P<0.001).
It is concluded that HCV is the current major problem in multi-transfused children with thalassemia major and more careful pretransfusion screening of blood for anti-HCV must be introduced in blood centers.
Hepatitis B; hepatitis C; Human immunodeficiency virus; β-thalassemia major; seroprevalence
Injection drug use plays the most important role in transmission of hepatitis C. In Iran, surveys have been conducted on various high risk groups but this is the first announcement based study for hepatitis C virus HCV prevalence among cases with history of intravenous drug using (IVDU) in the country.
The announcement-based detection and follow-up of patients with anti-HCV positive project in volunteers with history of intravenous drug using was conducted in Isfahan province. At the first step, six focus groups were conducted and 2 pilot studies were carried out in two cities to design the main study. Comprehensive community announcement was done in all of public places and for physicians. The volunteers were invited to Isfahan reference laboratories and the serum samples were sent to Infectious Diseases Research Center Laboratory in standard conditions and HCV-Ab was tested by ELISA method.
In this study, 1,747 individuals that are estimated 50% of all expected intravenous drug users in the community were presented themselves. The most important reasons of success in recruiting volunteers in this study were the perfect propaganda, appropriate cooperation of lab staffs, continuous evaluation and good cooperation in Isfahan province administrations. HCV-Ab was detected in 34% of them and the HCV-Ab positives were sent for further follow-up procedures including confirmatory test, education, and treatment.
In spite of some limitations to select real cases, this study was considered as a successful experience. Compared to the surveys in Iran on HCV prevalence in intravenous drug users, the results of this study, which was based on volunteers by announcement seems to be noteworthy.
Announcement; Community; Hepatitis C; Intravenous drug using
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major public health problem worldwide with serious complications. According to the importance of intravenous drug use (IDU) as the main risk factor for HCV infection and transmission and prison as the main source of risky behaviors, this study conducted to define HCV infection and related risk factors in prison inmates with history of IDU in Isfahan province, Iran.
This is a cross –sectional study which the prison inmates with IDU history in voluntary basis were enrolled. A validated questionnaire was asked and blood sample was obtained from each subject for the presence of HCV antibody. Odds ratio and logistic regression were used for data analysis and P-value < 0.05 considered significant.
I943 inmates with history of IDU participated in the study. The overall prevalence of HCV antibody was 41.6%. The main independent risk factors were number of injection in the month [OR: 1.006 (1.002- 1.011)], Length of drug addiction [OR: 1.05 (1.004-1.098)], multiple incarceration [OR: 1.15 (1.05-1.23)] and use of needle/syringe share inside prison [OR: 4.19 (2.22-7.9)]. In our study, marriage was a protective factor for HCV infection [OR: 0.34 (0.18-0.64)] as well.
According to relatively high prevalence of HCV infection and associated risk factors which observed in this study it is important to primary prevention in prisons through syringe/needle exchange and counsel with imprisoned IDUs.
HCV; IDU; Prison
Thalassemia is a common hemoglobin disorder in Iran and one of the major public health problems. Although blood transfusions are lifesavers for thalassemia patients, they may be associated with some complications especially erythrocyte alloimmunization. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of red blood cell alloantibodies and to determine types of these antibodies among multiple-transfused thalassemic patients.
Materials and Methods:
A total of 313 thalassemia patients in the northeast of Iran, who received regular blood transfusion, were included in this study. Screening of antibodies was performed on fresh serum of all patients and then antibodies were identified in patients’ serum that had positive antibody screening test using a panel of recognized blood group antigens.
We identified 12 alloantibodies in 9 patients (2.87%) that all were against Rhesus (Rh) blood group antigens (D, C, E). Three patients developed 2 antibodies, and others had one antibody. The most common alloantibodies were Anti-D (88.88%) and followed by Anti-C and Anti-E. Higher frequency of alloimmunization was observed in female, Rh negative and splenectomized patients.
This study showed that evaluation of the packed cells for Rh (C, E) from the start of transfusion can be helpful in decreasing the rate of alloantibody synthesis.
Alloantibody; thalassemia; transfusion
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is one of the major public health problems worldwide which is transmitted through contact with infected blood or blood products. One of the most prevalent modes of HCV transmission is injecting drug with unclean needles or syringes. Therefore intravenous drug users (IVDUs) are the most important group who should be considered. The aim of this study was to evaluate seroprevalence and risk factors of hepatitis C virus in IVDUs population.
The cross-sectional study was carried out on intravenous drug users who attended health and social care Drop-in centers during November 2008 to February 2009 in Isfahan province, Iran. Data was gathered using interviewer-administered questionnaire including demographic characteristics and main risk factors for HCV infection. 5ml venous blood sample was obtained from each subject. The HCV-Ab test was performed on all blood samples by ELISA. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistical methods and multiple logistic regressions by SPSS software, version 15.
The mean age of participants was 31.77 ± 8.51. 503 (94.7%) were men and 28 (5.3%) were women. HCV seroprevalence was 47.1% (95% CI: 42.9, 51.3). The multiple logistic regressions demonstrated that history of tattooing (OR 1.72, 95% CI 1.02-2.90), history of imprisonment (OR 2.49, 95% CI 1.40-4.42) and sharing needles/syringes (OR 2.76, 95% CI 1.54-4.95) are significant predictors of risk of HCV in IVDU population.
In conclusion, according to the high prevalence of HCV infection among IVDUs and high adds of HCV infection from tattooing, sharing of needles/syringes and imprisonment, effective harm reduction programs should be expanded among IVDUs to prevent new HCV infections.
Hepatitis C virus; High-risky behaviors; Intravenous drug users; Risk factors
Although a marked proportion of thalassemic patients acquire Torque teno virus (TTV) through blood transfusion, its clinical importance is unclear. This study was designed to investigate the clinical importance of TTV infection in thalassemic patients with and without hepatitis C virus (HCV) co-infection in Iran.
In this case-control study, 107 thalassemic patients on chronic transfusion and 107 healthy individuals were selected. According to HCV and TTV infection status (detected by semi-nested PCR), patients were categorized into 4 groups: TTV and HCV negative, TTV positive, HCV positive, and TTV and HCV positive. Blood ferritin, alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels in these 4 groups were assessed.
Approximately half of the thalassemic patients (50.5%) and 27.1% of controls had TTV infection. Thalassemic patients had a greater chance of TTV infection compared to the control group with a sex-adjusted OR of 4.13 (95% CI=2.28-8.13). The increased levels of ALT, AST, and ferritin in the TTV and HCV-infected group were not significantly different from those in the TTV and HCV negative group. Co-infection with TTV and HCV did not significantly increase ALT, AST, and ferritin levels compared to infection with TTV alone.
Although common in thalassemic patients, TTV infection appears to have a negligible role in increasing the severity of liver disease, even when co-infection with HCV occurs.
Torque teno virus (TTV); Hepatitis C virus (HCV); Thalassemia