HCV Antibody Prevalence and Genotype Evolution in a Teaching Hospital, Calabria Region, Southern Italy Over A Decade (2008-2018)
Nadia Marascio1, Maria Mazzitelli2, Giuseppe G.M. Scarlata1, Aida Giancotti1, Giorgio S. Barreca1, Angelo G. Lamberti1, Francesca Divenuto1, Chiara Costa2, Enrico M. Trecarichi2, Giovanni Matera1, Maria C. Liberto1, Carlo Torti2, *
1 Unit of Clinical Microbiology, Department of Health Sciences, “Magna Graecia” University, Catanzaro, Italy
2 Unit of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, “Magna Graecia” University, Catanzaro, Italy
Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection is associated with a high risk of developing liver diseases. Globally, HCV prevalence is changing due to improving health care procedures, population movement, and availability of new antiviral therapy. In Italy, data on the prevalence of HCV infection are insufficient, out-dated, and restricted to specific areas.
Between 2008 and 2018, we investigated HCV antibody (Ab) seroprevalence and genotypes distribution among patients presenting for testing at our Teaching Hospital.
The HCV Ab and genotyping assays were performed by routine diagnostic methods. Chi-square for linear trend was carried out by OpenEpi (v3.01).
Among 120,009 consecutive patients, 5877 subjects were HCV Ab positive (4.89%). During the observational period 2008-2018, prevalence decreased significantly (p<0.001) from 4.7% in 2008 to 3.6% in 2018. HCV1b was the most prevalent subtype (47.2%) followed by HCV2a/2c (20.2%), and HCV3 (9.7%), while HCV4 showed a rate of 6.1%. HCV infection was more frequent in males (55.4%) than in females (44.6%). Overall, most infected patients were born before 1949.
Epidemiological analyses are important to understand the evolution of the HCV epidemics under the influence of several factors, such as risk behaviour and therapy with direct-acting antivirals.
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* Address correspondence to this author at the Unit of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, "Magna Graecia" University, Catanzaro, Italy; Tel: +39 09613697233; E-mail: email@example.com