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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology
Volume 2018, Article ID 1039423, 6 pages
Research Article

Prevalence of Sero-Molecular Markers of Hepatitis C and B Viruses among Patients with β-Thalassemia Major in Northern West Bank, Palestine

1Department of Medical Lab Sciences, Arab American University, Palestine, State of Palestine
2Al-Quds Public Health Society, Jerusalem, State of Palestine

Correspondence should be addressed to Kamal Dumaidi; ude.juaa@idiamud.lamak

Received 6 May 2018; Revised 17 July 2018; Accepted 5 August 2018; Published 5 September 2018

Academic Editor: Lucia Lopalco

Copyright © 2018 Kamal Dumaidi et al. 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.


Background. HCV and HBV present a great challenge in the management of β-thalassemia patients. Objective. The present study aimed to determine the prevalence of both HBV and HCV in multitransfused-dependent β-thalassemia patients in northern West Bank, Palestine, using sero-molecular markers. Methods. Serum sample from 139 multitransfused β-thalassemia patients were tested for HBV and HCV markers including HBsAg, anti-HBc, anti-HBs, HBV-DNA, and anti-HCV and HCV-RNA. Demographic data and selected clinical parameters were collected by means of a questionnaire and from the patients’ medical files. Results and Conclusion. The mean (±SD) age of patients was 18.1 years (±10.6). The overall prevalence of the HCV was 10% (14/139), which is 50 times higher than the normal Palestinian population (0.2%). Of which, 3 were positive for anti-HCV alone, 7 positives for HCV-RNA alone, and 4 positives for both anti-HCV and PCR-RNA. On the other hand, low prevalence of HBV was detected at a level of 0.7% (1/139). Only one patient had HCV-HBV coinfection. Twenty-five patients (19%) were positive for anti-HBc, while 99 (71%) were immune with the anti-HBs level above 10 IU/mL. Anti-HBc was insignificantly high () in HCV-positive cases. In conclusion, the prevalence of HCV among β-thalassemia patients is considered high compared to normal population. Determination of HCV prevalence should be based on the detection of both HCV-RNA and anti-HCV. On the contrary, HBV showed a low prevalence. A follow-up schedule and administration of booster dose of HBV vaccine is strongly recommended for β-thalassemia patients whose anti-HBs level <10 IU/ml.