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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 9, Issue 3, Pages 141-143

Prevalence of Antibody to Hepatitis C Virus in Saudi Blood Donors

Bandar Al-Knawy,1,2 Awad A El-Mekki,1 Jamal Hamdi,1,2 Raja Thiga,1 and Anwar Sheikha1

1Departments of Medicine, Gastroenterology Unit, Clinical Microbiology and Parasitology, Surgery and Haematology, College of Medicine, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia
2Department of Paediatrics, Asir Central Hospital, Abha, Saudi Arabia

Received 28 March 1994; Accepted 28 October 1994

Copyright © 1995 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The prevalence of antibodies to hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV) was retrospectively determined using a second generation enzyme immunoassay in 3868 blood donors from the southern part of Saudi Arabia in an area with high prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Of 3354 Saudis, 48 (1.43%) were seropositive for anti-HCV. A high prevalence (43 of 204, 21.08%) of anti-HCV was observed among Egyptian donors compared with Saudis (1.43%) and other nationalities (eight of 310, 2.58%). Furthermore, the prevalence of anti-HCV antibodies was observed to increase with age, peaking in the 25 to 34 year age group. From this and other studies conducted in different regions of Saudi Arabia, the prevalence of anti-HCV among Egyptian donors appears to range from 19.2 to 24.5%, and among Saudi donors appears to range from 1.00 to 1.7%, a rate similar to that reported from western countries; this latter rate does not seem to be influenced by the high prevalence of HBV infection in this region.