2006, Number 3
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ABSTRACTIntroduction: There are no records on the prevalence of infection by HCV in Mexican population. The central area of Mexico is a highly dense demographic zone and is the influence area of the second blood bank in Latin America in terms of affluence.
Material and methods: We prospectively studied the prevalence and genotypes of HCV infection in 5105 individuals attending the Central Blood Bank of Centro Médico Nacional La Raza regardless if they were accepted or rejected as donors. We applied a quimiolumiscence assay as a screening test. A recombinant immunoassay (RIBA) and a qualitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were performed as confirmatory tests and to detect viremia, respectively. Virus genotype was identified by means of a Line Immuno Probe Assay in PCR positive samples.
Results: The overall prevalence of HCV infection was 0.195 % (10/5105). Viremia was detected in 90 % of the subjects. The prevalence of accepted donors (0.087 %) was significantly lower (p = 0.017) than that of the rejected ones (0.421 %). Among viremic subjects, 60 % were infected with genotype 2 and 40 % with a subtype combination (a/b) of genotype 1.
Discussion: The prevalence of HCV infection in our population was significantly lower than the world mean prevalence estimated in 3 %. A higher prevalence of genotype 2 in asymptomatic individuals contrasts with previous studies with a selected population where genotype 1 prevailed.
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