Rubina Malhotra1, Divya Soin2, Pragati Grover1, Shipra Galhotra1, Himanshu Khutan2, Navneet Kaur1
1Department of Microbiology, Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot, Punjab, India.
2Department of Medicine, Guru Gobind Singh Medical College, Faridkot, Punjab, India.
Background: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections represent significant public health issues globally. They are important causes of morbidity and mortality in hemodialysis patients. Patients with HBV/HCV co-infection have a higher risk of progression to cirrhosis and decompensated liver disease and have an increased risk of hepatocellular cancer (HCC). Because the two hepatotropic viruses share same modes of transmission, co-infection with the two viruses is not uncommon, especially in areas with a high prevalence of HCV infection and among people at high-risk for parenteral infection. Aims: To estimate the prevalence of HBV and HCV co-infection among hemodialysis patients. Materials and Methods: This retrospective, single centered hospital record-based study was carried out in a tertiary care hospital in Faridkot (Punjab), India. All the patients who underwent hemodialysis from January 2013 to December 2014 were included in the study. Patients of all age groups were tested for anti-HCV antibodies by fourth Generation HCV Tridot ELISA (J. Mitra & Co. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, India) and for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) by Hepalisa (J. Mitra & Co. Pvt. Ltd). Results: Of the total 262 patients on hemodialysis, 88 (33.5%) were found to be having HCV infection, 4 (1.5%) were found to be positive for HBsAg. Co-infection with HBV/HCV was observed in 2 (0.8%) patients. Out of the total 92 patients having HBV and HCV infection, 62 (67.4%) were males and 30 (32.6%) were females. The majority of the patients were found to be of 41-60 years of age (41.3%) followed by 21-40 years (31.5%) and thereafter in 61-80 years (23.9%) and lowest prevalence was observed in the age group of <20 years (2.2%) and >80 years (1.1%). Conclusion: The risk of co-infection is greater among the chronic renal failure (CRF) patients due to the high frequency of transfusions of blood/blood products and extracorporeal circulation during hemodialysis. Patients with HBV/HCV co-infection have a higher risk of progression to cirrhosis and decompensated liver disease and further have an increased risk of HCC. In our study, out of the total 262 patients, 88 (33.5%) were found to be having HCV infection, 4 (1.5%) were found to be positive for HBsAg and dual infection was observed in 2 (0.8%) patients which is higher than the rates reported from different studies all over the world and India.
Keywords: Dialysis, hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus.