Systematic overview of hepatitis C infection in the Middle East and North Africa

Karima Chaabna, Sohaila Cheema, Amit Abraham, Hekmat Alrouh, Albert B. Lowenfels, Patrick Maisonneuve, Ravinder Mamtani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

AIM To assess the quality of and to critically synthesize the available data on hepatitis C infections in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to map evidence gaps. METHODS We conducted an overview of systematic reviews (SRs) following an a priori developed protocol (CRD42017076736). Our overview followed the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses guidelines for reporting SRs and abstracts and did not receive any funding. Two independent reviewers systematically searched MEDLINE and conducted a multistage screening of the identified articles. Out of 5758 identified articles, 37 SRs of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in populations living in 20 countries in the MENA region published between 2008 and 2016 were included in our overview. The nine primary outcomes of interest were HCV antibody (anti-) prevalences and incidences in different at-risk populations; the HCV viremic (RNA positive) rate in HCV-positive individuals; HCV viremic prevalence in the general population (GP); the prevalence of HCV co-infection with the hepatitis B virus, human immunodeficiency virus, or schistosomiasis; the HCV genotype/subtype distribution; and the risk factors for HCV transmission. The conflicts of interest declared by the authors of the SRs were also extracted. Good quality outcomes reported by the SRs were defined as having the population, outcome, study time and setting defined as recommended by the PICOTS framework and a sample size > 100. RESULTS We included SRs reporting HCV outcomes with different levels of quality and precision. A substantial proportion of them synthesized data from mixed populations at differing levels of risk for acquiring HCV or at different HCV infection stages (recent and prior HCV transmissions). They also synthesized the data over long periods of time (e.g., two decades). Anti-HCV prevalence in the GP varied widely in the MENA region from 0.1% (study dates not reported) in the United Arab Emirates to 2.1%-13.5% (2003-2006) in Pakistan and 14.7% (2008) in Egypt. Data were not identified for Bahrain, Jordan, or Palestine. Good quality estimates of anti-HCV prevalence in the GP were reported for Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Pakistan, Syria, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen. Anti-HCV incidence estimates in the GP were reported only for Egypt (0.8-6.8 per 1000 person-year, 1997-2003). In Egypt, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates, viremic rates in anti-HCV-positive individuals from the GP were approximately 70%. In the GP, the viremic prevalence varied from 0.7% (2011) in Saudi Arabia to 5.8% (2007-2008) in Pakistan and 10.0% (2008) in Egypt. Anti-HCV prevalence was lower in blood donors than in the GP, ranging from 0.2% (1992-1993) in Algeria to 1.7% (2005) in Yemen. The reporting quality of the outcomes in blood donors was good in the MENA countries, except in Qatar where no time framework was reported for the outcome. Some countries had anti-HCV prevalence estimates for children, transfused patients, contacts of HCV-infected patients, prisoners, sex workers, and men who have sex with men. CONCLUSION A substantial proportion of the reported outcomes may not help policymakers to develop micro-elimination strategies with precise HCV infection prevention and treatment programs in the region, as nowcasting HCV epidemiology using these data is potentially difficult. In addition to providing accurate information on HCV epidemiology, outcomes should also demonstrate practical and clinical significance and relevance. Based on the available data, most countries in the region have low to moderate anti-HCV prevalence. To achieve HCV elimination by 2030, up-to-date, good quality data on HCV epidemiology are required for the GP and key populations such as people who inject drugs and men who have sex with men.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3038-3054
Number of pages17
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume24
Issue number27
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jul 2018

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Northern Africa
Eastern Africa
Middle East
Hepatitis C
Hepacivirus
Infection
Hepatitis C Antibodies
Egypt
Population
Virus Diseases
Pakistan
Yemen
United Arab Emirates
Algeria
Morocco
Epidemiology
Blood Donors
Djibouti
Bahrain
Qatar

Keywords

  • Genotype
  • Gulf Cooperation Council
  • Hepatitis C
  • Incidence
  • Meta-research
  • Micro-elimination
  • Middle East and North Africa
  • Pakistan
  • Risk factors
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology

Cite this

Chaabna, K., Cheema, S., Abraham, A., Alrouh, H., Lowenfels, A. B., Maisonneuve, P., & Mamtani, R. (2018). Systematic overview of hepatitis C infection in the Middle East and North Africa. World Journal of Gastroenterology, 24(27), 3038-3054. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v24.i27.3038

Systematic overview of hepatitis C infection in the Middle East and North Africa. / Chaabna, Karima; Cheema, Sohaila; Abraham, Amit; Alrouh, Hekmat; Lowenfels, Albert B.; Maisonneuve, Patrick; Mamtani, Ravinder.

In: World Journal of Gastroenterology, Vol. 24, No. 27, 21.07.2018, p. 3038-3054.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Chaabna, K, Cheema, S, Abraham, A, Alrouh, H, Lowenfels, AB, Maisonneuve, P & Mamtani, R 2018, 'Systematic overview of hepatitis C infection in the Middle East and North Africa', World Journal of Gastroenterology, vol. 24, no. 27, pp. 3038-3054. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v24.i27.3038
Chaabna K, Cheema S, Abraham A, Alrouh H, Lowenfels AB, Maisonneuve P et al. Systematic overview of hepatitis C infection in the Middle East and North Africa. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2018 Jul 21;24(27):3038-3054. https://doi.org/10.3748/wjg.v24.i27.3038
Chaabna, Karima ; Cheema, Sohaila ; Abraham, Amit ; Alrouh, Hekmat ; Lowenfels, Albert B. ; Maisonneuve, Patrick ; Mamtani, Ravinder. / Systematic overview of hepatitis C infection in the Middle East and North Africa. In: World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2018 ; Vol. 24, No. 27. pp. 3038-3054.
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abstract = "AIM To assess the quality of and to critically synthesize the available data on hepatitis C infections in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to map evidence gaps. METHODS We conducted an overview of systematic reviews (SRs) following an a priori developed protocol (CRD42017076736). Our overview followed the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses guidelines for reporting SRs and abstracts and did not receive any funding. Two independent reviewers systematically searched MEDLINE and conducted a multistage screening of the identified articles. Out of 5758 identified articles, 37 SRs of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in populations living in 20 countries in the MENA region published between 2008 and 2016 were included in our overview. The nine primary outcomes of interest were HCV antibody (anti-) prevalences and incidences in different at-risk populations; the HCV viremic (RNA positive) rate in HCV-positive individuals; HCV viremic prevalence in the general population (GP); the prevalence of HCV co-infection with the hepatitis B virus, human immunodeficiency virus, or schistosomiasis; the HCV genotype/subtype distribution; and the risk factors for HCV transmission. The conflicts of interest declared by the authors of the SRs were also extracted. Good quality outcomes reported by the SRs were defined as having the population, outcome, study time and setting defined as recommended by the PICOTS framework and a sample size > 100. RESULTS We included SRs reporting HCV outcomes with different levels of quality and precision. A substantial proportion of them synthesized data from mixed populations at differing levels of risk for acquiring HCV or at different HCV infection stages (recent and prior HCV transmissions). They also synthesized the data over long periods of time (e.g., two decades). Anti-HCV prevalence in the GP varied widely in the MENA region from 0.1{\%} (study dates not reported) in the United Arab Emirates to 2.1{\%}-13.5{\%} (2003-2006) in Pakistan and 14.7{\%} (2008) in Egypt. Data were not identified for Bahrain, Jordan, or Palestine. Good quality estimates of anti-HCV prevalence in the GP were reported for Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Pakistan, Syria, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen. Anti-HCV incidence estimates in the GP were reported only for Egypt (0.8-6.8 per 1000 person-year, 1997-2003). In Egypt, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates, viremic rates in anti-HCV-positive individuals from the GP were approximately 70{\%}. In the GP, the viremic prevalence varied from 0.7{\%} (2011) in Saudi Arabia to 5.8{\%} (2007-2008) in Pakistan and 10.0{\%} (2008) in Egypt. Anti-HCV prevalence was lower in blood donors than in the GP, ranging from 0.2{\%} (1992-1993) in Algeria to 1.7{\%} (2005) in Yemen. The reporting quality of the outcomes in blood donors was good in the MENA countries, except in Qatar where no time framework was reported for the outcome. Some countries had anti-HCV prevalence estimates for children, transfused patients, contacts of HCV-infected patients, prisoners, sex workers, and men who have sex with men. CONCLUSION A substantial proportion of the reported outcomes may not help policymakers to develop micro-elimination strategies with precise HCV infection prevention and treatment programs in the region, as nowcasting HCV epidemiology using these data is potentially difficult. In addition to providing accurate information on HCV epidemiology, outcomes should also demonstrate practical and clinical significance and relevance. Based on the available data, most countries in the region have low to moderate anti-HCV prevalence. To achieve HCV elimination by 2030, up-to-date, good quality data on HCV epidemiology are required for the GP and key populations such as people who inject drugs and men who have sex with men.",
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T1 - Systematic overview of hepatitis C infection in the Middle East and North Africa

AU - Chaabna, Karima

AU - Cheema, Sohaila

AU - Abraham, Amit

AU - Alrouh, Hekmat

AU - Lowenfels, Albert B.

AU - Maisonneuve, Patrick

AU - Mamtani, Ravinder

PY - 2018/7/21

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N2 - AIM To assess the quality of and to critically synthesize the available data on hepatitis C infections in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to map evidence gaps. METHODS We conducted an overview of systematic reviews (SRs) following an a priori developed protocol (CRD42017076736). Our overview followed the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses guidelines for reporting SRs and abstracts and did not receive any funding. Two independent reviewers systematically searched MEDLINE and conducted a multistage screening of the identified articles. Out of 5758 identified articles, 37 SRs of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in populations living in 20 countries in the MENA region published between 2008 and 2016 were included in our overview. The nine primary outcomes of interest were HCV antibody (anti-) prevalences and incidences in different at-risk populations; the HCV viremic (RNA positive) rate in HCV-positive individuals; HCV viremic prevalence in the general population (GP); the prevalence of HCV co-infection with the hepatitis B virus, human immunodeficiency virus, or schistosomiasis; the HCV genotype/subtype distribution; and the risk factors for HCV transmission. The conflicts of interest declared by the authors of the SRs were also extracted. Good quality outcomes reported by the SRs were defined as having the population, outcome, study time and setting defined as recommended by the PICOTS framework and a sample size > 100. RESULTS We included SRs reporting HCV outcomes with different levels of quality and precision. A substantial proportion of them synthesized data from mixed populations at differing levels of risk for acquiring HCV or at different HCV infection stages (recent and prior HCV transmissions). They also synthesized the data over long periods of time (e.g., two decades). Anti-HCV prevalence in the GP varied widely in the MENA region from 0.1% (study dates not reported) in the United Arab Emirates to 2.1%-13.5% (2003-2006) in Pakistan and 14.7% (2008) in Egypt. Data were not identified for Bahrain, Jordan, or Palestine. Good quality estimates of anti-HCV prevalence in the GP were reported for Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Pakistan, Syria, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen. Anti-HCV incidence estimates in the GP were reported only for Egypt (0.8-6.8 per 1000 person-year, 1997-2003). In Egypt, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates, viremic rates in anti-HCV-positive individuals from the GP were approximately 70%. In the GP, the viremic prevalence varied from 0.7% (2011) in Saudi Arabia to 5.8% (2007-2008) in Pakistan and 10.0% (2008) in Egypt. Anti-HCV prevalence was lower in blood donors than in the GP, ranging from 0.2% (1992-1993) in Algeria to 1.7% (2005) in Yemen. The reporting quality of the outcomes in blood donors was good in the MENA countries, except in Qatar where no time framework was reported for the outcome. Some countries had anti-HCV prevalence estimates for children, transfused patients, contacts of HCV-infected patients, prisoners, sex workers, and men who have sex with men. CONCLUSION A substantial proportion of the reported outcomes may not help policymakers to develop micro-elimination strategies with precise HCV infection prevention and treatment programs in the region, as nowcasting HCV epidemiology using these data is potentially difficult. In addition to providing accurate information on HCV epidemiology, outcomes should also demonstrate practical and clinical significance and relevance. Based on the available data, most countries in the region have low to moderate anti-HCV prevalence. To achieve HCV elimination by 2030, up-to-date, good quality data on HCV epidemiology are required for the GP and key populations such as people who inject drugs and men who have sex with men.

AB - AIM To assess the quality of and to critically synthesize the available data on hepatitis C infections in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to map evidence gaps. METHODS We conducted an overview of systematic reviews (SRs) following an a priori developed protocol (CRD42017076736). Our overview followed the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses guidelines for reporting SRs and abstracts and did not receive any funding. Two independent reviewers systematically searched MEDLINE and conducted a multistage screening of the identified articles. Out of 5758 identified articles, 37 SRs of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in populations living in 20 countries in the MENA region published between 2008 and 2016 were included in our overview. The nine primary outcomes of interest were HCV antibody (anti-) prevalences and incidences in different at-risk populations; the HCV viremic (RNA positive) rate in HCV-positive individuals; HCV viremic prevalence in the general population (GP); the prevalence of HCV co-infection with the hepatitis B virus, human immunodeficiency virus, or schistosomiasis; the HCV genotype/subtype distribution; and the risk factors for HCV transmission. The conflicts of interest declared by the authors of the SRs were also extracted. Good quality outcomes reported by the SRs were defined as having the population, outcome, study time and setting defined as recommended by the PICOTS framework and a sample size > 100. RESULTS We included SRs reporting HCV outcomes with different levels of quality and precision. A substantial proportion of them synthesized data from mixed populations at differing levels of risk for acquiring HCV or at different HCV infection stages (recent and prior HCV transmissions). They also synthesized the data over long periods of time (e.g., two decades). Anti-HCV prevalence in the GP varied widely in the MENA region from 0.1% (study dates not reported) in the United Arab Emirates to 2.1%-13.5% (2003-2006) in Pakistan and 14.7% (2008) in Egypt. Data were not identified for Bahrain, Jordan, or Palestine. Good quality estimates of anti-HCV prevalence in the GP were reported for Algeria, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Pakistan, Syria, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen. Anti-HCV incidence estimates in the GP were reported only for Egypt (0.8-6.8 per 1000 person-year, 1997-2003). In Egypt, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates, viremic rates in anti-HCV-positive individuals from the GP were approximately 70%. In the GP, the viremic prevalence varied from 0.7% (2011) in Saudi Arabia to 5.8% (2007-2008) in Pakistan and 10.0% (2008) in Egypt. Anti-HCV prevalence was lower in blood donors than in the GP, ranging from 0.2% (1992-1993) in Algeria to 1.7% (2005) in Yemen. The reporting quality of the outcomes in blood donors was good in the MENA countries, except in Qatar where no time framework was reported for the outcome. Some countries had anti-HCV prevalence estimates for children, transfused patients, contacts of HCV-infected patients, prisoners, sex workers, and men who have sex with men. CONCLUSION A substantial proportion of the reported outcomes may not help policymakers to develop micro-elimination strategies with precise HCV infection prevention and treatment programs in the region, as nowcasting HCV epidemiology using these data is potentially difficult. In addition to providing accurate information on HCV epidemiology, outcomes should also demonstrate practical and clinical significance and relevance. Based on the available data, most countries in the region have low to moderate anti-HCV prevalence. To achieve HCV elimination by 2030, up-to-date, good quality data on HCV epidemiology are required for the GP and key populations such as people who inject drugs and men who have sex with men.

KW - Genotype

KW - Gulf Cooperation Council

KW - Hepatitis C

KW - Incidence

KW - Meta-research

KW - Micro-elimination

KW - Middle East and North Africa

KW - Pakistan

KW - Risk factors

KW - Systematic review

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EP - 3054

JO - World Journal of Gastroenterology

JF - World Journal of Gastroenterology

SN - 1007-9327

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