Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 33556152
Link to DOI – 10.1371/journal.pone.0246836
PLoS One 2021 ; 16(2): e0246836
Hospitals are suspected of playing a key role in HCV epidemic dynamics in Egypt. This work aimed at assessing HCV prevalence and associated risk factors in patients and health-care workers (HCWs) of Ain Shams University (ASU) hospitals in Cairo.We included 500 patients admitted to the internal medicine or surgery hospital from February to July, 2017, as well as 50 HCWs working in these same hospitals. Participants were screened for anti-HCV antibodies and HCV RNA. A questionnaire was administered to collect data on demographic characteristics and medical/surgical history. For HCWs, questions on occupational exposures and infection control practices were also included.The overall prevalence of anti-HCV antibodies was 19.80% (95% CI: 16.54-23.52) among participating patients, and 8.00% (95% CI: 0.48-15.52) among participating HCWs. In HCWs, the only risk factors significantly associated with anti-HCV antibodies were age and profession, with higher prevalence in older HCWs and those working as cleaners or porters. In patients, in a multivariate logistic regression, age over 50 (aOR: 3.4 [1.9-5.8]), living outside Cairo (aOR: 2.1 [1.2-3.4]), admission for liver or gastro-intestinal complaints (aOR: 4.2 [1.8-9.9]), and history of receiving parenteral anti-schistosomiasis treatment (aOR: 2.7 [1.2-5.9]) were found associated with anti-HCV antibodies.While HCV prevalence among patients has decreased since the last survey performed within ASU hospitals in 2008, it is still significantly higher than in the general population. These results may help better control further HCV spread within healthcare settings in Egypt by identifying at-risk patient profiles upon admission.