Hepatitis C virus infection in the Maghreb region



Ezzikouri S, Pineau P, Benjelloun S.


J Med Virol. 2013 Sep;85(9):1542-9. doi: 10.1002/jmv.23643. Epub 2013 Jun 18.


Hepatitis C is a global health problem with a worldwide prevalence of about 3% (around 170 million people). Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is major concern in the Maghreb countries, Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia, but no detailed description of its epidemiology in the region is available. In the present review, a systematic search was undertaken covering HCV data available in peer-reviewed databases as well as institutional reports and regional conference meeting abstracts from the Maghreb countries. Reports written in English and French were included in this analysis. Estimates of national and regional prevalence of HCV infection (based on anti-HCV antibody) and of the size of patient populations were performed. In addition, the molecular features of the circulating viral strains in the region are discussed. A substantial proportion, 1.2-1.9% of the Maghreb inhabitants, have anti-HCV antibodies. Genotype 1b predominates among viral strains in all countries except in Libya, where genotype 4 is dominant as in neighboring Egypt. This epidemiological situation is of significant concern, and requires urgent, broad, and active intervention for the prevention and control of HCV. More specifically, the application of state-of-the-art hygiene procedures and rigorous controls in medical disciplines such as hemodialysis, transfusion, endoscopic procedures, and dentistry is necessary to reduce significantly the number of new infections in the region. CI – Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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Link/DOI: 10.1002/jmv.23643