Seroprevalence and Spatial Distribution of Hepatitis C Virus in Bahia, Brazil

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  • 1 Advanced Public Health Laboratory, Gonçalo Moniz Institute, Fiocruz-BA, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil;
  • | 2 Gonçalo Moniz Public Health Central Laboratory, Laboratorio Central de Saúde Pública da Bahia, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil;
  • | 3 Molecular Epidemiology and Biostatistics Laboratory, Gonçalo Moniz Institute, Fiocruz-BA, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil;
  • | 4 Center for Integration of Data and Health Knowledge, Centro de Integração de Dados e Conhecimentos para Saúde, Gonçalo Moniz Institute, Fiocruz-BA, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil;
  • | 5 Bahiana School of Medicine and Public Health, Escola Bahiana de Medicina e Saúde Pública, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

In Salvador, which is the capital of the Brazilian state of Bahia, it has been estimated that 1.5% of the general population is infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV); however, the circulation of HCV throughout the state remains unknown. The present retrospective study aimed to determine anti-HCV seroprevalence and describe the geographic distribution of hepatitis C in Bahia. Data from HCV serological tests submitted to the Bahia Central Laboratory of Public Health between 2004 and 2013 were analyzed. Serology for HCV was performed using the AxSYM anti-HCV enzymatic microparticle immunoassay and chemiluminescence immunoassay. A subgroup of samples with detectable HCV-RNA was genotyped using the linear array hepatitis C virus genotyping assay. A total of 247,837 samples were analyzed. The median age of the studied population was 31 years (interquartile range, 25–44 years), and the female:male ratio was 3.9:1. The global seroprevalence of HCV in Bahia was estimated to be 1.3% (3,230/247,837), corresponding to an infection rate of 21.2/100,000 inhabitants. The seroprevalence of HCV was higher among males and increased with age. The presence of anti-HCV antibodies was detected throughout all mesoregions of Bahia, and the municipality with the highest infection rate was Ipiaú (112.04 cases/100,000 inhabitants). Genotypes 1 and 3 were found to be the most prevalent, followed by genotypes 2, 4, and 5. Our results provide evidence of the widespread distribution of previous HCV infection throughout the state of Bahia.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Fred Luciano Neves Santos, Advanced Public Health Laboratory, Gonçalo Moniz Institute, Fiocruz-BA, Rua Waldemar Falcão, 121, Candeal, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, CEP 40296-710. E-mail: fred.santos@fiocruz.br

Financial support: This work was supported by the Coordination of Superior Level Staff Improvement-Brazil (CAPES) (finance code 001) and National Foundation for the Development of Private Higher Education (FUNADESP) grants 9600140 and 9600141.

Disclaimer: Maria Fernanda R. Grassi, Bernardo Galvão-Castro, and Fred Luciano Neves Santos are research fellows of CNPq (process no. 304811/2017-3, 311054/2014-5, and 309263/2020-4, respectively). The funding agencies were not involved in any aspect of the study including design, analysis, or interpretation of results.

Authors’ addresses: Felicidade Mota Pereira, Gonçalo Moniz Public Health Central Laboratory (LACEN), Salvador, Bahia, Brazil E-mail: felizmp@yahoo.com.br. Fred Luciano Neves Santos, Advanced Public Health Laboratory, Gonçalo Moniz Institute, Fiocruz-BA, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, E-mail: fred.santos@fiocruz.br. Maria da Conceição Almeida Chagas, Molecular Epidemiology and Biostatistics Laboratory, Gonçalo Moniz Institute, Fiocruz-BA, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, E-mail: conceicao.almeida@fiocruz.br. Roberto Perez Carreiro, Center for Integration of Data and Health Knowledge, CIDACS, Gonçalo Moniz Institute, Fiocruz-BA, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, E-mail: roberto.carreiro@gmail.com. Luciano Kalabric Silva, Bernardo Galvão Castro, and Maria Fernanda Rios Grassi, Bahiana School of Medicine and Public Health, Escola Bahiana de Medicina e Saúde Pública, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, E-mails: luciano.kalabric@fiocruz.br, bgalvao@bahiana.edu, and fernanda.grassi@fiocruz.br.

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