Background and objective: Infection caused by hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus is still a major problem in Pakistan. Most of the infections caused by HBV and HCV remain undetected. The aim of this study was to analyze the prevalence of HBV and HCV and their associated risk factors in suspected patients referred to HMC hospital in Peshawar, during February 2019 to September 2019.
Materials and methods: All patients completed a questionnaire and provided a blood sample at the time of enrolment into the study. Patient information regarding demography and risk factors were obtained on a predesigned questionnaire. Blood samples taken were tested for HBV and HCV using ICT, ELISA and PCR.
Results: The overall prevalence rate of hepatitis B and C related infection was found to be 44.3% (n=223). The prevalence of HBV and HCV in all observed patients was 17.8% (n=89) and 26% (n=130) respectively. Gender based differentiation of HCV infection was more prevalent in males 31% (n=70), whereas HBV was also more prevalent in males 22.4% (n=50) showing a non-significant association respectively (p>0.05). Illegal drug usage, 25% (n=32) and hemodialysis, 23% (n=30) were the most common risk factors associated with HCV infection, whereas infected spouse 28% (n=25) and illegal drug usage 16% (n=14) were the prevalent risk factor in HBV infected patients. Highly significant association (p=0.001) was found among the prevalent risk factors and infection. The prevalence of both HCV was high in patients of age group 16-30 with 34% (n=44) prevalence, whereas HBV was prevalent in age group 31-45 with rates of 34% (n=30) (p>0.05). PCR based diagnosis showed that HCV RNA was detected in 80.7% (n=105) of the HCV infected patients, similarly 73% (n=65) of the HBV infected patients were positive for PCR.
Conclusion: This study confirms high prevalence of HBV and HCV in suspected population from different districts of KPK region of Pakistan. Active viral replication in large number of patients was confirmed by PCR in studied population.
Keywords: HBV, HCV, ELISA and PCR.