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author:("siras, Sami")
1.  Rising burden of Hepatitis C Virus in hemodialysis patients 
Virology Journal  2011;8:438.
Aim
High prevalence of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) has been reported among the dialysis patients throughout the world. No serious efforts were taken to investigate HCV in patients undergoing hemodialysis (HD) treatment who are at great increased risk to HCV. HCV genotypes are important in the study of epidemiology, pathogenesis and reaction to antiviral therapy. This study was performed to investigate the prevalence of active HCV infection, HCV genotypes and to assess risk factors associated with HCV genotype infection in HD patients of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well as comparing this prevalence data with past studies in Pakistan.
Methods
Polymerase chain reaction was performed for HCV RNA detection and genotyping in 384 HD patients. The data obtained was compared with available past studies from Pakistan.
Results
Anti HCV antibodies were observed in 112 (29.2%), of whom 90 (80.4%) were HCV RNA positive. In rest of the anti HCV negative patients, HCV RNA was detected in 16 (5.9%) patients. The dominant HCV genotypes in HCV infected HD patients were found to be 3a (n = 36), 3b (n = 20), 1a (n = 16), 2a (n = 10), 2b (n = 2), 1b (n = 4), 4a (n = 2), untypeable (n = 10) and mixed (n = 12) genotype.
Conclusion
This study suggesting that i) the prevalence of HCV does not differentiate between past and present infection and continued to be elevated ii) HD patients may be a risk for HCV due to the involvement of multiple routes of infections especially poor blood screening of transfused blood and low standard of dialysis procedures in Pakistan and iii) need to apply infection control practice.
doi:10.1186/1743-422X-8-438
PMCID: PMC3180426  PMID: 21920054
Dialysis patients; HCV; HCV Genotype; Epidemiology; Pakistan
2.  Prevalence of HBV and HBV vaccination coverage in health care workers of tertiary hospitals of Peshawar, Pakistan 
Virology Journal  2011;8:275.
Background
Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) may progress to serious consequences and increase dramatically beyond endemic dimensions that transmits to or from health care workers (HCWs) during routine investigation in their work places. Basic aim of this study was to canvass the safety of HCWs and determine the prevalence of HBV and its possible association with occupational and non-occupational risk factors. Hepatitis B vaccination coverage level and main barriers to vaccination were also taken in account.
Results
A total of 824 health care workers were randomly selected from three major hospitals of Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Blood samples were analyzed in Department of Zoology, Kohat University of Science and Technology Kohat, and relevant information was obtained by means of preset questionnaire. HCWs in the studied hospitals showed 2.18% prevalence of positive HBV. Nurses and technicians were more prone to occupational exposure and to HBV infection. There was significant difference between vaccinated and non-vaccinated HCWs as well as between the doctors and all other categories. Barriers to complete vaccination, in spite of good knowledge of subjects in this regard were work pressure (39.8%), negligence (38.8%) un-affordability (20.9%), and unavailability (0.5%).
Conclusions
Special preventive measures (universal precaution and vaccination), which are fundamental way to protect HCW against HBV infection should be adopted.
doi:10.1186/1743-422X-8-275
PMCID: PMC3121707  PMID: 21645287
3.  Response to combination therapy of HCV 3a infected Pakistani patients and the role of NS5A protein 
Virology Journal  2011;8:258.
Background
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 3a is known to show comparatively better response to combination therapy than genotype 1 and 4. Mutations within NS5A gene of HCV have earlier been implicated with response to interferon (IFN) therapies in chronic HCV patients among various populations. As response to therapy are available in different populations because of the ethnic and viral factors and there was no study available on the phenomenon of resistivity to IFN.
Results
Chronic HCV 3a infected Pakistani patients were kept on IFN-╬▒ and ribavirin therapy for six months. NS5A gene of HCV was amplified and sequenced in the case of all the patients prior to therapy and the sequences were analysed for mutations. Out of the total 27 patients, 20 (74.07%) were observed with sustained virological response (SVR), 4 (14.81%) patients were non responder (NR) while 3 (11.11%) patients exhibited in end of treatment response (ETR). Three (3/20) (15%) SVR patients and two (2/3) ETR patients had mutations (ranging from I-V amino acids) within the NS5A ISDR regions. While the rest of the SVR patients (85%) and the NR had no mutations at ISDR region when compared with HCV K3a ISDR.
Conclusions
Mutations within the NS5A gene of HCV 3a genotype may not influence the outcome of combination therapy in Pakistani populations.
doi:10.1186/1743-422X-8-258
PMCID: PMC3118205  PMID: 21609495
HCV; genotype 3a; IFN; NS5A gene
4.  Molecular epidemiology of hcv among health care workers of khyber pakhtunkhwa 
Virology Journal  2011;8:105.
Background
Studies of the molecular epidemiology and risk factors for hepatitis C virus (HCV) in health care workers (HCWs) of Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region are scarce. Lack of awareness about the transmission of HCV and regular blood screening is contributing a great deal towards the spread of hepatitis C. This study is an attempt to investigate the prevalence of HCV and its possible association with both occupational and non-occupational risk factors among the HCWs of Peshawar.
Results
Blood samples of 824 HCWs, aged between 20-59 years were analysed for anti-HCV antibodies, HCV RNA and HCV genotypes by Immunochromatographic tests and PCR. All relevant information was obtained from the HCWs with the help of a questionnaire. The study revealed that 4.13% of the HCWs were positive for HCV antibodies, while HCV RNA was detected in 2.79% of the individuals. The most predominant HCV genotype was 3a and 2a.
Conclusion
A program for education about occupational risk factors and regular blood screening must be implemented in all healthcare setups of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in order to help reduce the burden of HCV infection.
doi:10.1186/1743-422X-8-105
PMCID: PMC3060846  PMID: 21385397

Results 1-4 (4)