To assess the incidence and source of community-acquired hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among subjects at low risk for blood-borne diseases, we prospectively studied a cohort of 16,515 repeat blood donors over a mean follow-up time of 36 months.
Second-and third-generation methods were used for hepatitis C virus antibody (anti-HCV) testing.
HCV RNA was determined in the serum of anti-HCV-positive donors by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction.
Liver biopsy was performed in the viremic subjects.
Risk factors for HCV infection were identified by a psychosocial questionnaire in the whole cohort.
During follow-up, 5 donors became infected with HCV.
The incidence was 1 per 10,000 person-years (95% confidence interval, 0.3-2.4 per 10,000).
During the 6 months before seroconversion, four subjects (80%) underwent medical or surgical percutaneous procedures, compared with 26.5% in the entire donor cohort (difference between frequencies, 53.5% ; CI : 18.9-89.1).
One seroconverting donor had sexual intercourse with an infected subject.
Only 1 infected donor developed clinically evident acute hepatitis.
HCV RNA remained detectable in 4 of 5 subjects for 8 to 36 months after seroconversion, and liver biopsy showed chronic hepatitis in all cases.
Thus, new cases of hepatitis C occur among individuals without a history of known risk factors, some of which may be caused by nosocomial exposure.
Mots-clés Pascal : Hépatite virale C, Virose, Infection, Transmission, Voie parentérale, Incidence, Facteur risque, Dépistage, Réaction chaîne polymérase, RNA, Virus hépatite C, Flaviviridae, Virus, Epidémiologie, Homme, Italie, Europe, Appareil digestif pathologie, Foie pathologie, Biologie moléculaire
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Viral hepatitis C, Viral disease, Infection, Transmission, Parenteral administration, Incidence, Risk factor, Medical screening, Polymerase chain reaction, RNA, Hepatitis C virus, Flaviviridae, Virus, Epidemiology, Human, Italy, Europe, Digestive diseases, Hepatic disease, Molecular biology
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 97-0211184
Code Inist : 002B30A01C. Création : 21/05/1997.