KUMJ | VOL. 1 | NO. 2 | ISSUE 2 | APRIL-JUN, 2003

Seroprevalence of antibodies to hepatitis C virus among injectingdrug users from Kathmandu
Shrestha I L

Objective: To determine the seroprevalence of antibodies to hepatitis C virus among injecting drug users (IDU) from Kathmandu. Design: Retrospective cohort study from January 1997 to December 2002. Setting: Pathology Lab, Siddhi Polyclinic, Dillibazaar, Kathmandu. Materials and methods: Blood samples were collected from 400 injecting drug users and 400 healthy young adults. Serum samples were examined in duplicate along with negative and positive controls for the presence of antibodies to hepatitis C virus using third-generation enzyme-linked immunoassay (EIA 3.0) kit in fully automated, USA FDA approved, Bio-Rad EIA analyzer. Samples positive for anti HCV were re-examined for confirmation. Results: 342 out of 400 (85.5%) serum samples from IDU were found to be positive for anti HCV compared to 3 out of 400 (0.75%) serum samples from young adults without the history of IDU Conclusions: 1. Injecting drug use is an important risk factor in the spread of hepatitis C virus. 2. Sharing of needles should be stopped. 3. Education and health counselling should be given to the people at risk to bring about behavioural change.
Keyword : antibodies to Hepatitis C virus, seroprevalence study, EIA third generation, Injecting drug users