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Sero-prevalence and genotypes of hepatitis c among people who inject drugs in Nairobi Kenya

Journal of Human Virology & Retrovirology
Alex K Maiyo,1,2 Eddy O Odari,2 Joyceline Kinyua,1 Elijah M Songok3,4

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The World Health Organization aims at achieve global elimination and eradication of hepatitis C virus (HCV) by 2030. Illustrating the burden of the disease among people who inject drugs (PWIDs) in Kenya is essential in management of the infection. We undertook a cross-sectional study aimed at determining sero-prevalence and genotypes of HCV among PWIDs from two dropping centers in Nairobi Kenya. Random sampling technique was used to recruit participant; a self administered questionnaire was used to obtain information on clinical history and socio-demographic factors. Missing and nonresponsive information were obtained from the facility records. Up to 5mL of whole blood samples were collected from participants whose information had been obtained. Serological analysis was done to determine sero-prevalence; molecular analysis was done on sero positive samples. Positive samples on gel electrophoresis were used for sequencing. MEGA6 was used to draw the phylogenetic tree and analyze the sequences. A total of 212 PWID were successfully recruited for the study of whom 29(13.7%) tested positive for hepatitis C antibody. Majority of them were males 21(72.4%) and females were 8(27.6%). Age (P=0.001), marital status (P=0.008), duration of injecting drugs (P=0.001) and the frequency of injecting drugs (P=0.010) were found to be significantly associated with HCV infection. 27/29(93.1%) were PCR-positive and were used for genotypic identification. HCV strains detected were genotype 1, 14(51.8%); genotype 4, 4(14.8%); genotype 6, 4(14.8%); genotype 5, 2(7.4%); genotype 3 1(3.7%) and 2(7.4%) was of undefined genotype. Earlier studies by different study groups have shown genotype 1 and 4 to be predominantly found within the region, detection of genotype5, 6 and the undefined genotypes in the current study is an indication of cross infection from other regions. This may imply a negative effect in the effort to eradicate hepatitis C in the region using the genotype specific drugs.


hepatitis c virus, prevalence, kenya, people who inject drugs, hepatitis c genotype