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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2016, Article ID 7370524, 11 pages
Review Article

Hepatitis C Virus in North Africa: An Emerging Threat

1Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Tripoli University, P.O. Box 82668, Tripoli, Libya
2Department of Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of Biotechnology, Tripoli University, P.O. Box 82668, Tripoli, Libya
3Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Tripoli University, P.O. Box 13662, Tripoli, Libya
4Department of Surgery, Tripoli Medical Centre, Faculty of Medicine, Tripoli University, P.O. Box 82668, Tripoli, Libya
5Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medical Technology, Algabal Algarbi University, P.O. Box 3321, Nalut, Libya

Received 6 April 2016; Revised 21 June 2016; Accepted 19 July 2016

Academic Editor: Anna Linda Zignego

Copyright © 2016 Mohamed A. Daw 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.


Hepatitis C virus is a major public health threat associated with serious clinical consequences worldwide. North Africa is a unique region composed of seven countries that vary considerably in the predisposing factors to microbial diseases both historically and at the present time. The dynamics of HCV in the region are not well documented. The data are both limited and controversial in most of the countries in the region. In North Africa, the epidemiology of HCV is disparate and understanding it has been hampered by regional “epidemiological homogeneity” concepts. As the dynamics of HCV vary from country to country, context-specific research is needed. In this review, we assess studies performed in each country in the general populations as well as among blood donors and groups exposed to the HCV infection. The reported prevalence of HCV ranges from 0.6% to 8.4% in the Maghreb countries and is predominated by genotype 1. In the Nile valley region, it ranges from 2.2% to 18.9% and is dominated by genotype 4. In North African countries, HCV seems to be a serious problem that is driven by different vectors even in different geographical locations within the same country. Efforts should be combined at both the national and regional levels to implement efficient preventive and treatment strategies.