Volume 76, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Clinical and epidemiologic studies on the hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the western Brazilian Amazon region are scarce. However, reports of clinical cases of hepatitis or pathologies associated to the HCV infection are frequent. In the state of Acre, there have been no studies on the population with the greatest exposure to parenteral transmission of virus infection. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of HCV infection among health care workers (HCWs) in this region. Of 2,338 HCWs, 646 were randomly selected for this study. The presence of antibody to HCV was determined. If these persons were antibody positive, they were tested for HCV RNA and the viral genotype was determined. The seroprevalence of antibody to HCV was 4.8% (31 of 646), and 3.7% (24 of 646) of those tested had detectable HCV RNA. Among these 24 viremic cases, HCV genotype 1 was most common (n = 16), followed by genotypes 3 (n = 6), 2 (n = 1), and an unidentified genotype. Infection with HCV (identified by a polymerase chain reaction) was more frequent among those with lower educational levels and lower incomes, those who lived for a longer period in the city of Rio Branco, those who reported intravenous use of vitamin complexes, those with a history of dental treatment, those with alcoholism, and women with history of caesarian parturition. The high prevalence of patients with HCV observed among HCWs in the city of Rio Branco and risk factors indicate the need for prevention and control programs, in addition to assistance programs, because this region is also hyperendemic for hepatitis B virus and hepatitis D virus.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Alter M, 1997. Epidemiology of acute and chronic hepatitis C. Clin Liver Dis 1 : 559–568. [Google Scholar]
  2. Fonseca JC, Hepatologia GE, 1999. Epidemiologia da infecção pelo vírus da hepatite C no Brasil. GED Gastroenterologia Endoscopia Digestiva 18 : 1–5. [Google Scholar]
  3. Guadagnino V, Stroffolini T, Rapicetta M, Costantino A, Kondili LA, Menniti-Ippolito F, Caroleo B, Costa C, Griffo G, Loiacono L, Pisani V, Foca A, Piazza M, 1997. Prevalence, risk factors, and genotype distribution of hepatitis C virus infection in the general population: a community-based survey in Southern Italy. Hepatology 26 : 1006–1011. [Google Scholar]
  4. Ministério da Saùde do Brasil, 1993. Bol Epidemiol 2 : 331. [Google Scholar]
  5. Edelenyi-Pinto M, Carvalho AP, Nogueira C, Ferreirajr O, Schechter M, 1993. Prevalence of antibodies to hepatitis C virus in populations at low and high risk sexually transmitted diseases in Rio de Janeiro. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz 88 : 305–307. [Google Scholar]
  6. Braga WS, 2004. Hepatitis B and D infection within Amerindians ethnic groups in the Brazilian Amazon: epidemiological aspects. Rev Soc Bras Med Trop 37 (Suppl 2):9–13, 2004. [Google Scholar]
  7. Tavares-Neto J, Almeida D, Soares MC, Uchoa R, Viana S, Darub R, Farias E, Rocha G, Vitvitski L, Parana R, 2004. Seroprevalence of hepatitis B and C in the western Brazilian Amazon region (Rio Branco, Acre): a pilot study carried out during a hepatitis B vaccination program. Braz J Infect Dis 8 : 133–139. [Google Scholar]
  8. Lobato C, Tavares-Neto J, Rios-Leite M, Trepo C, Vitvitski L, Parvaz P, Zoulim F, D’Oliveira A Jr, Paraná R, 2006. Intrafamilial prevalence of HBV in western Brazilian Amazon region: epidemiologic and biomolecular study. J Gastroenterol Hepatol 21 : 863–868. [Google Scholar]
  9. Silva LR, Paraná R, Mota E, Cotrim HP, Boenne C, McCurtey ML, Vitvitinsky L, Padua A, Trepo C, Lyra L, 1995. Prevalence of hepatitis C virus in urban and rural populations of northeast Brazil: pilot study. Arq Gastroenterol 32 : 168–171. [Google Scholar]
  10. Silva LL, Paraná R, Souza SP, Berby F, Kay A, Trepo C, Santana N, Cotrim H, Lyra LG, Reis MG, 2000. Hepatitis C virus genotype in a northeastern area of Brazil. J Am J Trop Med Hyg 62 : 257–260. [Google Scholar]
  11. Bassit L, Vanderborght B, Dorlhiac-Llacer PE, Chamone DA, Saéz-Alquezár A, 1994. Anti-HCV cPCR positivity, and HCV subtypes among screening positive blood donors from São Paulo. Rev Soc Bras Med Trop 27 : 98–100. [Google Scholar]
  12. Proietti L, Origlio A, Sandoona PB, Duscio D, Malaguarnera M, 2003. Prevalence of HCV in health care workers in southern Italy. Clin Ter 154 : 159–162. [Google Scholar]
  13. Sulotto F, Coggiola M, Meliga F, Nosio D, Martina C, Isaia R, Vergnano P, Coen M, Cotto N, Grisaffi M, Delfino B, Barocelli AP, Tagna M, Mariano DF, 2002. Degree of hepatitis C infection risk in the health care setting. Med Lav 93 : 34–42. [Google Scholar]
  14. Ozsoy MF, Oncul O, Cavuslu S, Erdemoglu A, Emekdas G, Pahsa A, 2003. Seroprevalence of hepatitis B and Cc among health care workers in Turkey. J Viral Hepat 10 : 150–156. [Google Scholar]
  15. Zuckerman J, Clewley G, Griffiths P, Cockcroft A. 1994. Prevalence of hepatitis C antibodies in clinical health-care workers. Lancet: 343 : 1618–1620. [Google Scholar]
  16. Maugat S, Astagneau P, Thibault V, Desruennes E, Baffoy N, Desenclos JC, Brucker G, 2003. Nosocomial risk factors of hepatitis C infection. A multicentric study in a hospital-based population. Rev Epidemiol Sante Publique 51 : 301–308. [Google Scholar]
  17. Zampieron A, Jayasekerz H, Elseviers M, Lindley E, de Vos JY, Visser R, Harrington M, 2004. European study on epidemiology and the management of HCV in the haemodialysis population: Part 1: center policy. EDTNA ERCA J 30 : 84–90. [Google Scholar]
  18. Ross RS, Viazov S, Thormahlen M, Bartz L, Tamm J, Rautenberg P, Roggendorf M, Deister A. 2002. Risk of hepatitis C virus transmission from an infected gynecologist to patients: results of a 7-year retrospective investigation. Arch Intern Med 162 : 805–810. [Google Scholar]
  19. Santana GO, Cotrim HP, Mota E, Paraná R, Santana NP, Lyra L, 2001. Antibodies to hepatitis C virus in patients undergoing hemodialysis in Salvador, BA, Brazil. Arq Gastroenterol 38 : 24–31. [Google Scholar]
  20. De Luca M, Ascione A, Canestrini C, Di Costanzo GG, Galeota Lanza A, Guardascione MA, Gallo ML, Parisio Perrotti G, Samaritani CM, Utech W, 1991. Prevalence of antibody to hepatitis C virus in hospital personnel. Minerva Gastroenterol Dietol 37 : 141–149. [Google Scholar]
  21. Paraná R, Vitvitski L, Andrade Z, Trepo C, Cotrim H, Bertillon P, Silva F, Silva L, de Oliveira IR, Lyra L, 1999. Acute sporadic non-A, non-B hepatitis in northeastern Brazil: etiology and natural history. Hepatology 30 : 289–293. [Google Scholar]
  22. Paraná R, Lyra L, Trepo C, 1999. Intravenous vitamin complexes used in sporting activities and transmission of HCV in Brazil. Am J Gastroenterol 94 : 857–858. [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Received : 10 Oct 2005
  • Accepted : 07 Feb 2006

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error