Epidemiology of viral hepatitis in the Maghreb



Lahlali M, Abid H, Lamine A, Lahmidani N, El Yousfi M, Benajah D, El Abkari M, Ibrahimi A, Aqodad N.


Tunis Med. 2018 Oct-Nov;96(10-11):606-619.


INTRODUCTION: Viral hepatitis represents a serious public health problem in the world especially in the Maghreb where the prevalence of the 5 viruses A, B, C, D, and E remains high and varies from one Maghreb country to another, there is few published studies on these infections in our Maghreb countries. METHOD OF STUDY: Our work is a review of the literature about prevalence, the most common mode of transmission, and the most exposed population for these viruses in the Maghreb countries through published studies between 2011 and 2017. RESULT: It has been found that the Maghreb countries are endemic for the five viruses with variable prevalence from one country to another, with sometimes heterogeneous data in the same country. For hepatitis B, Mauritania is the Maghreb country most affected by this infection unlike the rest of the Maghreb countries which are moderately endemic for this virus, the lowest prevalence of VHB was noted in Morocco, the genotype the most common is the D for the majority of Maghreb countries, and the precore mutant profile is also the most common. For hepatitis C the prevalence of infection does not vary much from one Maghreb country to another, but it remains slightly higher in Mauritania. The population most exposed to the virus C in the five countries is hemodialysis patients. The most common genotype in all Maghreb countries is genotype 1 except for Libya, where genotype 4 remains the most common probably related to its borders with Egypt. For hepatitis D, Mauritania is the only Maghreb country with a high endemicity for the virus. Tunisia has the lowest prevalence for hepatitis A and E compared to the rest of the Maghreb countries, all of which are endemic for these two viruses with fecal-oral transmission. CONCLUSION: The management of these viral hepatitis is costly for the health economy and to reduce their prevalence, prevention measures must be followed like vaccination and improving hygiene conditions.

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