Prevalence of Hepatitis C Virus Antibodies Among Blood Donors in Northern Jordan(Brief Communications )

Abdullah Rashdan, Shadi Hijjawi, Khaled Jadallah, Ismail Matalka


Background and Objectives: Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) remains the most common cause of transfusion-related hepatitis in the world. Despite the accurate screening methods introduced after the discovery of the virus about two decades ago, blood and blood products transfusion remains an important source of HCV infection in Jordan. The worldwide prevalence of HCV among blood donors is variable, ranging between 0.17 and 20%. The main objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of positive serology for HCV among blood donors in the population of Northern Jordan. The prevalence of different HCV genotypes among positive serology individuals was a secondary objective of the study.

Study Population and Methods: From January 2004 till June 2006, a total of 14,236 individuals (13666 males and 570 females) donated blood at King Abdullah University Hospital. A third-generation Enzyme- Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assay (ELISA) test system using the commercial Diasorin kit, ETI-AB-HCVK- 4(N0146, N0147) which was used to screen all donors for antibodies to HCV. The test was performed strictly as per the manufacturer's instructions. Data were collected from the blood bank database. Samples of HCV positive serology and detectable HCV RNA were submitted to genotyping using Real Time PCR. (MX 4000) method.

Results: A total of 29 blood donors (27 males, 2 females) were tested positive for anti-HCV antibodies, with an overall prevalence of 0.20%. The seroprevalence in females was approximately the double of that of males (0.35% vs 0.19%). The most prevalent HCV genotype was type 4.

Conclusion: This study indicates that the prevalence of HCV among blood donors in the North of Jordan is lower than that in other regions of the country. Overall, our national prevalence of HCV among healthy blood donors (0.2%-0.79%) is concordant with the results of epidemiological studies from the Western World (0.17-0.1.5%). The most prevalent HCV genotype in this cohort of individuals was genotype 4.


Hepatitis C virus; Blood donors; HCV antibody; HCV Genotype

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