An analysis of 105 consecutive patients with chronic hepatitis C at the gastroenterology outpatient's clinic in Hospital Kuala Lumpur was performed. The clinical, laboratory and virological data was prospectively recorded in the case notes and comprised of data on patient characteristics, risk factors, clinical features, laboratory features, virology screen and management. Chronic Hepatitis C cases accounted for 2.1% of the total number of cases seen at this clinic during the entire period. There were 78 (74%) males and 27 (26%) females. The ethnic breakdown consisted of Chinese (44.2%), Malays (39.4%), Indians (15.4%) and others (1%). There was higher male preponderance in all the ethnic groups. The main mode of transmission was blood transfusion comprising 51 patients (48.8%). A total of 35.2% of cases underwent treatment, of which a proportion had interferon monotherapy for 6 or 12 months and a subsequent group of naïve patients and non-responders underwent combination therapy with interferon and ribavarin.
Mixed-genotypes hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections are normally ignored in chronic hemodialysis patients. The aim of this study is to investigate the prevalence of mixed-genotypes infections among hemodialysis patients in Pahang province, Malaysia. Reverse-transcription and polymerase chain reaction methods were performed using two different sets of primers, targeting the 5' untranslated region and nonstructural 5B region. Target region base sequences were obtained by direct sequencing. Discrepancy in outcomes from phylogenetic analysis of both regions suggests double infections. Of 40 subjects in eight hemodialysis centres, evidence of mixed-genotypes infections was found in 5 subjects (12.5%) from three different centres. Four patients were infected with mixed genotypes 3 and 1 and one with genotypes 3 and 4. Cases of mixed HCV genotypes infection were considered high among hemodialysis patients in Pahang. However, further investigation is needed to confirm whether they are true mixed infections or perhaps infection with recombinant virus and also to assess the clinicopathologic characteristics of the infection.
180 million people are affected by chronic Hepatitis C Virus infection globally and more than 50 million in South East Asia. Combination of Interferon and Ribavirin is the current anti-HCV therapy in practice and is associated with certain hematologic adverse effects. In this concurrent observational study the incidence rate of major hematologic adverse effects and efficacy outcomes of Interferon and Ribavirin combination therapy was evaluated in 288 chronic hepatitis C patients at Lahore General Hospital. Levels of Hb, TLC, and Platelets counts were monitored for hematologic adverse effects monitoring, whereas, ALT, AST and bilirubin levels were monitored for efficacy. PCR was done at week 4, 12 &36 for therapeutic success evaluation. A significant reduction in Hb levels (p<0.05) was observed after week 4, 8 and 12 of therapy. Frequency of anemia increased in both genders with body weight <65kg and platelet count <150,000/mm(3). End Treatment Response (ETR) was achieved in 64.5%. Anemia was the major side effect of the combination therapy particularly in the males. Higher ETR was observed in patients who achieved RVR and were <50 years of age.
Data on markers of hepatitis C virus (HCV) disease in HIV-HCV-coinfected patients in resource-limited settings are scarce. We assessed HCV RNA, HCV genotype (GT), IL28B GT and liver fibrosis (FibroScan® ) in 480 HIV-infected patients with positive HCV antibody in four HIV treatment centres in South-East Asia. We enrolled 165 (34.4%) patients in Jakarta, 158 (32.9%) in Bangkok, 110 (22.9%) in Hanoi and 47 (9.8%) in Kuala Lumpur. Overall, 426 (88.8%) were male, the median (IQR) age was 38.1 (34.7-42.5) years, 365 (76.0%) reported HCV exposure through injecting drug use, and 453 (94.4%) were on combination antiretroviral therapy. The median (IQR) CD4 count was 446 (325-614) cells/mm3 and 208 (94.1%) of 221 patients tested had HIV-1 RNA <400 copies/mL. A total of 412 (85.8%) had detectable HCV RNA, at a median (IQR) of 6.2 (5.4-6.6) log10 IU/mL. Among 380 patients with HCV GT, 223 (58.7%) had GT1, 97 (25.5%) had GT3, 43 (11.3%) had GT6, eight (2.1%) had GT4, two (0.5%) had GT2, and seven (1.8%) had indeterminate GT. Of 222 patients with IL28B testing, 189 (85.1%) had rs12979860 CC genotype, and 199 (89.6%) had rs8099917 TT genotype. Of 380 patients with FibroScan® , 143 (37.6%) had no/mild liver fibrosis (F0-F1), 83 (21.8%) had moderate fibrosis (F2), 74 (19.5%) had severe fibrosis (F3), and 79 (20.8%) had cirrhosis (F4). One patient (0.3%) had FibroScan® failure. In conclusion, a high proportion of HIV-HCV-coinfected patients had chronic HCV infection. HCV GT1 was predominant, and 62% of patients had liver disease warranting prompt treatment (≥F2).
Due to the introduction of newer, more efficacious treatment options, there is a pressing need for policy makers and public health officials to develop or adapt national hepatitis C virus (HCV) control strategies to the changing epidemiological landscape. To do so, detailed, country-specific data are needed to characterize the burden of chronic HCV infection. In this study of 17 countries, a literature review of published and unpublished data on HCV prevalence, viraemia, genotype, age and gender distribution, liver transplants and diagnosis and treatment rates was conducted, and inputs were validated by expert consensus in each country. Viraemic prevalence in this study ranged from 0.2% in Hong Kong to 2.4% in Taiwan, while the largest viraemic populations were in Nigeria (2 597 000 cases) and Taiwan (569 000 cases). Diagnosis, treatment and liver transplant rates varied widely across the countries included in this analysis, as did the availability of reliable data. Addressing data gaps will be critical for the development of future strategies to manage and minimize the disease burden of hepatitis C.
The hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemic was forecasted through 2030 for 17 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, and interventions for achieving the Global Health Sector Strategy on viral hepatitis targets-"WHO Targets" (65% reduction in HCV-related deaths, 90% reduction in new infections and 90% of infections diagnosed by 2030) were considered. Scaling up treatment and diagnosis rates over time would be required to achieve these targets in all but one country, even with the introduction of high SVR therapies. The scenarios developed to achieve the WHO Targets in all countries studied assumed the implementation of national policies to prevent new infections and to diagnose current infections through screening.
Factors influencing the morbidity and mortality associated with viremic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection change over time and place, making it difficult to compare reported estimates. Models were developed for 17 countries (Bahrain, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Colombia, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Ghana, Hong Kong, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Qatar and Taiwan) to quantify and characterize the viremic population as well as forecast the changes in the infected population and the corresponding disease burden from 2015 to 2030. Model inputs were agreed upon through expert consensus, and a standardized methodology was followed to allow for comparison across countries. The viremic prevalence is expected to remain constant or decline in all but four countries (Ethiopia, Ghana, Jordan and Oman); however, HCV-related morbidity and mortality will increase in all countries except Qatar and Taiwan. In Qatar, the high-treatment rate will contribute to a reduction in total cases and HCV-related morbidity by 2030. In the remaining countries, however, the current treatment paradigm will be insufficient to achieve large reductions in HCV-related morbidity and mortality.