High Anti-HCV Seroprevalence and Low Performance of ICT Strip in Diagnosing Hepatitis C Virus Infection in Children in Enugu Metropolis
Maryann C. Ezeilo1, *, Godwill A. Engwa2, *, Romanus I. Iroha3, Damian N. Odimegwu4
1 Department of Microbiology, Godfrey Okoye University, P.M.B 01014, Thinkers Corner, Enugu, Nigeria
2 Department of Chemical Sciences, Godfrey Okoye University, P.M.B 01014, Thinkers Corner, Enugu, Nigeria
3 Department of Microbiology, Ebonyi State University, Abakiliki, Nigeria
4 Department of Pharmaceutical Microbiology and Biotechnology, University of Nigeria Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria
The lack of a vaccine for Hepatitis C virus (HCV) places children at a high risk of contracting the infection. It becomes necessary to accurately diagnose this infection for proper treatment as well as identifying potential risk factors for effective management.
This study was conceived to assess the test performance of the commonly used Immunochromatographic test (ICT) strip and identify the associated clinical manifestations and risk factors of HCV in children in Enugu Metropolis.
A cross-sectional study involving randomly selected 270 children below six years of age was conducted in Enugu Nigeria. The subjects were screened for anti-HCV by ICT and Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) and the demographic, signs and symptoms and risk factors were collected.
A total of 50 out of 270 children were positive for anti-HCV with a seropositivity of 18.5%. ICT strip had a very low sensitivity of 38.00% with an accuracy of 88.52% in detecting anti-HCV. The presence of dark urine was associated (p = 0.01) with HCV infection.
A seroprevalence of 18.5% of Anti-HCV was found in children below six years old in Enugu metropolis and the performance of ICT in diagnosing HCV infection was poor compared to ELISA.
Keywords: Hepatitis C virus, Immunochromatographic test strip, ELISA, seroprevalence, Children, risk factors.
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