Characterizing hepatitis C virus epidemiology in Egypt: Systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and meta-regressions

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Abstract

Egypt is the most affected nation by hepatitis C virus (HCV) and needs a comprehensive characterization of HCV epidemiology to inform the scale-up of treatment and prevention programs. Systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and meta-regressions were conducted. A total of 25 incidence, 259 prevalence, and 47 genotype studies were identified. Incidence and prevalence levels were high across all populations. Genotype 4 accounted for 94.1% of infections with a relative Shannon Diversity Index of only 14.4%. Pooled mean HCV prevalence was estimated at 11.9% (95% CI = 11.1-12.6%) among the general population, 55.6% (95% CI = 49.4-61.7%) among populations at high risk, 14.3% (95% CI = 10.3-18.8%) among populations at intermediate risk, 56.0% (95% CI = 50.4-61.6%) among populations with liver-related conditions, and 35.0% (95% CI = 27.3-43.1%) among special clinical populations. Mean HCV viremic rate was estimated at 66.7% (95% CI = 61.7-71.5%). Meta-regression indicated 6% lower odds for HCV prevalence for each one-year increment in publication year (AOR = 0.94; 95% CI = 0.92-0.96). HCV prevalence is high with evidence for ongoing transmission mainly through healthcare. Genotype diversity is low with genotype 4 dominance. Two-thirds of antibody-positive Egyptians are chronically infected and need treatment. Clinical populations should be prioritized for screening. Despite the large-scale epidemic, prevalence appears to be declining rapidly consistent with a contracting epidemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1661
JournalScientific Reports
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

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